broken arrow

See also: Broken Arrow



broken arrow ‎(plural broken arrows)

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  1. (US, euphemistic, military) An accidental event that involves nuclear weapons or nuclear components but does not create the risk of nuclear war.
    • 2004, Roland Everett Langford, Introduction to Weapons of Mass Destruction: Radiological, Chemical, and Biological, page 97:
      In the US, the code name for a serious nuclear weapons incident is "Broken Arrow". It is US policy neither to confirm nor deny the existence of nuclear weapons at any specific location; this also applies to Broken Arrow incidents.
  2. (US, military) a code phrase that a ground unit is facing imminent destruction from enemy attack and all available air forces within range are to provide air support immediately.

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