Front line
A front line is the farthest-most forward position(s) of an armed force's personnel and equipment - generally in respect of maritime or land forces. Forward Line of Own Troops (FLOT), or Forward Edge of Battle Area (FEBA) are technical terms used by all branches of the armed services
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

. They are a battlespace control measure that designate the forward-most friendly maritime or land forces on the battlefield
Battlespace is a term used to signify a unified military strategy to integrate and combine armed forces for the military theatre of operations, including air, information, land, sea, and space to achieve military goals. It includes the environment, factors, and conditions that must be understood...

 at a given point in time, during an armed conflict. FLOT/FEBA may include covering and screening forces. The Forward Line of Enemy Troops (FLET), is the FEBA from the enemy's perspective.

The adjective variant of the term front line is used to describe materiel or personnel intended for forward use - at sea, on land or in the air - i.e. at the front line.

In both the naval and land campaigns of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, FEBAs, FLOTs and FLETs could often be identified by eye (for example, in France and Belgium, defined by opposing defensive trench systems). Typical current conflicts are vastly different, characterised by 'war amongst the people', the concept of a 'three block war' and the presence of an asymmetric, 360-degree threat from irregular (or extremist/terrorist) combatants. In these cases, the front line, FEBA, FLOT and FLET are almost conceptual ideas; and the term 'front line' has come to refer more to any place where bullets and bombs are flying - or are likely to fly.

External links

  • Which way to the FEBA?, Maj John M. Fawcett, Jr., USAF, Airpower Journal
    Airpower Journal
    Airpower Journal may refer to:*World Airpower Journal, see 106th Rescue Wing*Air & Space Power Journal, "The professional journal of the United States Air Force"...

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