Military Dictionary – Letter F

Military Dictionary Letter FHere are the DOD Dictionary terms beginning with the letter F and organized alphabetically. Browse terms from the official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms that start with F and view definitions. Read on for military definitions that begin with F such as fighter escort, fly-in echelon, forward operating base and more.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.


facility — A real property entity consisting of one or more of the following: a building, a structure, a utility system, pavement, and underlying land.

facility substitutes — Items such as tents and prepackaged structures requisitioned through the supply system that may be used to substitute for constructed facilities.

family readiness — The state of being prepared to effectively navigate the challenges of daily living experienced in the unique context of military service, to include: mobility and financial readiness, mobilization and deployment readiness, and personal and family life readiness.

feasibility — The plan review criterion for assessing whether the assigned mission can be accomplished using available resources within the time contemplated by the plan. See also acceptability; adequacy.

feasibility assessment — A basic target analysis that provides an initial determination of the viability of a proposed target for special operations forces employment. Also called FA.

federal military forces — Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force personnel (including Reserve Component personnel) on federal active duty.

federal service — A term applied to National Guard members and units when called to active duty to serve the United States Government under Article I, Section 8 and Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution and Title 10, United States Code, Sections 12401 to 12408. See also active duty; Reserve Component.

feint — In military deception, an offensive action involving contact with the adversary conducted for the purpose of deceiving the adversary as to the location and/or time of the actual main offensive action.

field artillery — Equipment, supplies, ammunition, and personnel involved in the use of cannon, rocket, or surface-to-surface missile launchers. Also called FA.

fighter engagement zone — In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with fighter aircraft. Also called FEZ.

fighter escort — An offensive counterair operation providing dedicated protection sorties by air-to-air capable fighters in support of other offensive air and air support missions over enemy territory, or in a defensive counterair role to protect high value airborne assets.

fighter sweep — An offensive mission by fighter aircraft to seek out and destroy enemy aircraft or targets of opportunity in a designated area.

final governing standards — A comprehensive set of country-specific substantive environmental provisions, typically technical limitations on effluent, discharges, etc., or a specific management practice. Also called FGSs.

final protective fire — An immediately available prearranged barrier of fire designed to impede  enemy  movement  across   defensive   lines  or  areas.   Also  called  FPF.

finance support — A financial management function to provide financial advice and recommendations, pay support, disbursing support, establishment of local depository accounts, essential accounting support, and support of the procurement process. See also financial management.

financial management The combination of the two core functions of resource management and finance support. Also called FM. See also finance support; resource management.

fire direction center — That element of a command post, consisting of gunnery and communications personnel and equipment, by means of which the commander exercises fire direction and/or fire control. Also called FDC.

fires — The use of weapon systems or other actions to create specific lethal or nonlethal effects on a target.

fire support — Fires that directly support land, maritime, amphibious, and special operations forces to engage enemy forces, combat formations, and facilities in pursuit of tactical and operational objectives. See also fires.

fire support area — An appropriate maneuver area assigned to fire support ships by the naval force commander from which they can deliver gunfire support to an amphibious operation. Also called FSA. See also amphibious operation; fire support.

fire support coordination — The planning and executing of fire so that targets are adequately covered by a suitable weapon or group of weapons.

fire support coordination center — A single location in which are centralized communications facilities and personnel incident to the coordination of all forms of fire support for Marine forces. Also called FSCC. See also fire support; fire support coordination; support; supporting arms coordination center.

fire support coordination line — A fire support coordination measure established by the land or amphibious force commander to support common objectives within an area of operation; beyond which all fires must be coordinated with affected commanders prior to engagement, and short of the line, all fires must be coordinated with the establishing commander prior to engagement. Also called FSCL.  See also fires;  fire support.

fire support coordination measure — A measure employed by commanders to facilitate the rapid engagement of targets and simultaneously provide safeguards for friendly forces. Also called FSCM. See also fire support coordination.

fire support coordinator — 1. The officer in charge of the fire support coordination center. Also called FSC. 2. The brigade combat team’s organic fires battalion commander; if a fires brigade is designated as the division force field artillery headquarters, the fires brigade commander is the division’s fire support coordinator and is assisted by the chief of fires who then serves as the deputy fire support coordinator during the period the force field artillery headquarters is in effect. Also called FSCOORD.

fire support element — That section of the tactical operations center at every echelon above company responsible for targeting coordination and for integrating fires under the control or in support of the force. Also called FSE. Also called fire cell (FC) within the United States Army. See also fire support; force; support.

fire support officer — The field artillery officer from the operational to tactical level responsible for advising the supported commander or assisting the senior fires officer of the organization on fires functions and fire support. Also called FSO. See also field artillery; fire support; support.

fire support station — An exact location at sea within a fire support area from which a fire support ship delivers fire. Also called FSS.

fire support team — A field artillery team provided for each maneuver company/troop and selected units to plan and coordinate all supporting fires available to the unit, including mortars, field artillery, naval surface fire support, and close air support integration. Also called FIST.  See also close  air support; field artillery; fire support; support.

first responder — Anyone who provides initial and immediate treatment to self or others. See also essential care; evacuation.

fixed port — Terminals with an improved network of cargo-handling facilities designed for the transfer of freight. See also maritime terminal.

fixed price contract — A type of contract that generally provides for a firm price or, under appropriate circumstances, may provide for an adjustable price for the supplies or services being procured.

flame field expedient — Simple, handmade device used to produce flame or illumination. Also called FFE.

flash burn — A burn caused by excessive exposure (of bare skin) to thermal  radiation.

flatrack — Portable, open-topped, open-sided units that fit into existing below-deck container cell guides and provide a capability for container ships to carry oversized cargo and wheeled and tracked vehicles.

fleet — An organization of ships, aircraft, Marine Corps forces, and shore-based fleet activities under a commander who may exercise operational, as well as administrative, control. See also numbered fleet.

Fleet Marine Force — A balanced force of combined arms comprising land, air, and service elements of the United States Marine Corps, which is an integral part of a United States fleet and has the responsibility to man, train, and equip the Marine operating force. Also called FMF.

flexible deterrent option — A planning construct intended to facilitate early decision making by developing a wide range of interrelated responses that begin with deterrent-oriented actions carefully tailored to produce a desired effect. Also called FDO.

flexible response — The capability of military forces for effective reaction to any enemy threat or attack with actions appropriate and adaptable to the circumstances existing.

flight — 1. In Navy and Marine Corps usage, a specified group of aircraft usually engaged in a common mission. 2. The basic tactical unit in the Air Force, consisting of four or more aircraft in two or more elements. 3. A single aircraft airborne on a nonoperational mission.

flight deck — 1. In certain airplanes, an elevated compartment occupied by the crew for operating the airplane in flight. 2. The upper deck of an aircraft carrier that serves as a runway. 3. The deck of an air-capable ship, amphibious assault ship, or aircraft carrier used to launch and recover aircraft.

flight deck officer — Officer responsible for the safe movement of aircraft on or about the flight deck of an aviation-capable ship. Also called FDO.

flight quarters — A ship configuration that assigns and stations personnel at critical positions to conduct safe flight operations.

floating craft company — A company-sized unit made up of various watercraft teams such as tugs, barges, and barge cranes.

floating dump — Emergency supplies preloaded in landing craft, amphibious vehicles, or in landing ships that are located in the vicinity of the appropriate control officer, who directs their landing as requested by the troop commander concerned.

fly-in echelon — Airlifted forces and equipment (typically associated with the use of pre- positioned assets), to include flight ferry aircraft and aviation support equipment, needed to support operations. Also called FIE.

follow-up In amphibious operations, the reinforcements and stores carried on ships and aircraft (not originally part of the amphibious force) that are off-loaded after the assault and assault follow-on echelons have been landed. See also amphibious operation; assault; assault follow-on echelon.

follow-up shipping — Ships not originally a part of the amphibious task force but which deliver troops and supplies to the objective area after the action  phase  has  begun.

food and water risk assessment — A program conducted under specific circumstances by veterinary or public health personnel to assess food operations to identify and mitigate risk from intentional and unintentional contamination. Also called FWRA.

footprint — 1. The area on the surface of the earth within a satellite’s transmitter or sensor field of view. 2. The amount of personnel, spares, resources, and capabilities physically present and occupying space at a deployed location.

force — 1. An aggregation of military personnel, weapon systems, equipment, and necessary support, or combination thereof. 2. A major subdivision of a fleet.

force/activity designator Number used in conjunction with urgency of need designators to establish a matrix of priorities used for supply requisitions. Also called F/AD. See also force.

force beddown — The provision of expedient facilities for troop support to provide a platform for the projection of force. See also facility substitutes.

force closure — The point in time when a supported commander determines that sufficient personnel and equipment resources are in the assigned operational area to carry out assigned tasks. See also closure; force.

force health protection — Measures to promote, improve, or conserve the behavioral and physical well-being of Service members to enable a healthy and fit force, prevent injury and illness, and protect the force from health hazards. Also called FHP. See also force; protection.

force module — A grouping of combat, combat support, and combat service support forces, with their accompanying supplies and the required nonunit resupply and personnel necessary to sustain forces for a minimum of 30 days. Also called FM.

force planning — 1. Planning associated with the creation and maintenance of military capabilities by the Military Departments, Services, and United States Special Operations Command. 2. In the context of joint planning, it is an element of plan development where the supported combatant command, in coordination with its supporting and subordinate commands determines force requirements to accomplish an assigned mission.

force projection — The ability to project the military instrument of national power from the United States or another theater, in response to requirements for military operations. See also force.

force protection Preventive measures taken to mitigate hostile actions against Department of Defense personnel (to include family members), resources, facilities, and critical information. Also called FP. See also force; force protection condition; protection.

force protection condition A Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-approved standard for identification of and recommended responses to terrorist threats against United States personnel and facilities. Also called FPCON. See also antiterrorism; force protection.

force protection detachment — A counterintelligence element that provides counterintelligence support to transiting and assigned ships, personnel, and aircraft in regions of elevated threat. Also called FPD.

force protection working group — Cross-functional working group whose purpose is to conduct risk assessment and risk management and to recommend mitigating measures to the commander. Also called FPWG.

force requirement number — An alphanumeric code used to uniquely identify force entries in a given operation plan time-phased force and deployment data. Also called FRN.

force sequencing — The phased introduction of forces into and out of the operational area.

force sourcing — The identification of the actual units, their origins, ports of embarkation, and movement characteristics to satisfy the time-phased force requirements of a supported commander.

force tracking — The process of gathering and maintaining information on the location, status, and predicted movement of each element of a unit including the unit’s command element, personnel, and unit-related supplies and equipment while in transit to the specified operational area.

force visibility — The current and accurate status of forces, their current mission, future missions, location, mission priority, and readiness status.

forcible entry — Seizing and holding of a military lodgment in the face of armed opposition or forcing access into a denied area to allow movement and maneuver to accomplish the mission. See also lodgment.

foreign assistance Assistance to foreign nations ranging from the sale of military equipment and support for foreign internal defense to donations of food and medical supplies to aid survivors of natural and man-made disasters that may be provided through development assistance, humanitarian assistance, and security assistance. See also domestic emergencies; foreign disaster; foreign humanitarian assistance; security assistance.

foreign disaster — A calamitous situation or event that occurs naturally or through human activities, which threatens or inflicts human suffering on a scale that may warrant emergency relief assistance from the United States Government or from foreign partners. See also foreign disaster relief.

foreign disaster relief — Assistance that can be used immediately to alleviate the suffering of foreign disaster victims that normally includes services and commodities as well as the rescue and evacuation of victims; the provision and transportation of food, water, clothing, medicines, beds, bedding, and temporary shelter; the furnishing of medical equipment, medical and technical personnel; and making repairs to essential services. Also called FDR. See also foreign disaster.

foreign humanitarian assistance Department of Defense activities conducted outside the United States and its territories to directly relieve or reduce human suffering, disease, hunger, or privation. Also called FHA. See also foreign assistance.

foreign instrumentation signals intelligence A subcategory of signals intelligence consisting of technical information and intelligence derived from the intercept of foreign electromagnetic emissions associated with the testing and operational deployment of non-United States aerospace, surface, and subsurface systems. Also called FISINT. See also signals intelligence.

foreign intelligence — Information relating to capabilities, intentions, and activities of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons, or international terrorist activities. Also called FI. See also intelligence

foreign intelligence entity — Any known or suspected foreign organization, person, or group (public, private, or governmental) that conducts intelligence activities to acquire United States information, block or impair United States intelligence collection, influence United States policy, or disrupts United States systems and programs. The term includes foreign intelligence and security services and international terrorists. Also called FIE.

foreign internal defense — Participation by civilian agencies and military forces of a government or international organizations in any of the programs and activities undertaken by a host nation government to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to its security. Also called FID.

foreign military sales — That portion of United States security assistance for sales programs that require agreements/contracts between the United States Government and an authorized recipient government or international organization for defense articles and services to be provided to the recipient for current stocks or new procurements under Department of Defense-managed contracts, regardless of the source of financing. Also called FMS.

foreign national — Any person other than a United States citizen, United States permanent or temporary legal resident alien, or person in United States custody.

foreign nation support — Civil and/or military assistance rendered to a nation when operating outside its national boundaries during military operations based on agreements mutually concluded between nations or on behalf of intergovernmental organizations. Also called FNS. See also host-nation support.

foreign object damage — Rags, pieces of paper, line, articles of clothing, nuts, bolts, or tools that, when misplaced or caught by air currents normally found around aircraft operations (jet blast, rotor or prop wash, engine intake), cause damage to aircraft systems or weapons or injury to personnel. Also called FOD.

foreign service national — Foreign nationals who provide clerical, administrative, technical, fiscal, and other support at foreign service posts abroad and are not citizens of the United States. Also called FSN.

forensic-enabled intelligence — The intelligence resulting from the integration of scientifically examined materials and other information to establish full characterization, attribution, and the linkage of events, locations, items, signatures, nefarious intent, and persons of interest. Also called FEI.

forward air controller — An officer (aviator/pilot) member of the tactical air control party who, from a forward ground or airborne position, controls aircraft in close air support of ground troops. Also called FAC. See also close air support.

forward air controller (airborne) — A specifically trained and qualified aviation officer, normally an airborne extension of the tactical air control party, who exercises control from the air of aircraft engaged in close air support of ground troops. Also called FAC(A).

forward arming and refueling point — A temporary facility, organized, equipped, and deployed to provide fuel and ammunition necessary for the employment of aviation maneuver units in combat. Also called FARP.

forward aviation combat engineering — A mobility operation in which engineers perform tasks in support of forward aviation ground facilities. Also called FACE. See also combat engineering; reconnaissance.

forward edge of the battle area — The foremost limits of a series of areas in which ground combat units are deployed, excluding the areas in which the covering or screening forces are operating, designated to coordinate fire support, the positioning of forces, or the maneuver of units. Also called FEBA.

forward line of own troops — A line that indicates the most forward positions of friendly forces in any kind of  military  operation  at  a  specific  time.  Also  called  FLOT.

forward-looking infrared — An airborne, electro-optical thermal imaging device that detects far-infrared energy, converts the energy into an electronic signal, and provides a visible image for day or night viewing. Also called FLIR.

forward observer An observer operating with front line troops trained to adjust ground or naval gunfire and pass back battlefield information. Also called FO. See also forward air controller; spotter.

forward operating base — An airfield used to support tactical operations without establishing full support facilities. Also called FOB.

forward operating site — A scalable location outside the United States and its territories intended for rotational use by operating forces. Also called FOS. See also cooperative security location; main operating base.

forward presence — Maintaining forward-deployed or stationed forces overseas to demonstrate national resolve, strengthen alliances, dissuade potential adversaries, and enhance the ability to respond quickly to contingencies.

forward resuscitative care — Care provided as close to the point of injury as possible based on current operational requirements to attain stabilization, achieve the most efficient use of lifesaving and limb-saving medical treatment, and provide essential care so the patient can tolerate evacuation, which is known as Role 2 care in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization doctrine. Also called FRC. See also essential care; evacuation; medical treatment facility.

foundation geospatial intelligence data — The base data providing context and a framework for display and visualization of the environment, which consists of: features, elevation, controlled imagery base, geodetic sciences, geographic names and boundaries, aeronautical, maritime, digital point positioning database, and human geography.

463L system — A material handling system that consists of military and civilian aircraft cargo restraint rail systems, aircraft pallets, nets, tie down, coupling devices, facilities, handling equipment, procedures, and other components designed to efficiently accomplish the air logistics and aerial delivery mission.

fragmentary order — An abbreviated operation order issued as needed to change or modify an order or to execute a branch or sequel. Also called FRAGORD.

freedom of navigation operations — Operations conducted to protect United States navigation, overflight, and related interests on, under, and over the seas.

free drop — The dropping of equipment or supplies from an aircraft without the use of parachutes. See also airdrop; air movement; free fall; high velocity drop; low velocity drop.

free fall — A parachute maneuver in which the parachute is manually activated at the discretion of the jumper or automatically at a preset altitude. See also airdrop; air movement; free drop; high velocity drop; low velocity drop. 

free-fire area — A specific area into which any weapon system may fire without additional coordination with the establishing headquarters. Also called FFA.

free mail — Correspondence of a personal nature that weighs less than 11 ounces, to include audio and video recording tapes, from a member of the Armed Forces or designated civilian, mailed postage free from a Secretary of Defense approved free mail zone.

frequency deconfliction — A systematic management procedure to coordinate the use of the electromagnetic spectrum for operations, communications, and intelligence functions. Frequency deconfliction is one element of electromagnetic spectrum management. See also electromagnetic spectrum; electromagnetic spectrum management; electronic warfare.

friendly — A contact positively identified as a friend using identification, friend or foe and other techniques.

friendly force information requirement — Information the commander and staff need to understand the status of friendly force and supporting capabilities. Also called FFIR.

friendly force tracking — The process of fixing, observing, and reporting the location and movement of friendly forces. Also called FFT.

frustrated cargo — Any shipment of supplies and/or equipment which, while en route to destination, is stopped prior to receipt and for which further disposition instructions must be obtained.

full mobilization — Expansion of the active Armed Forces of the United States resulting from action by Congress and the President to mobilize, for the duration of the emergency plus six months, all Reserve Component units and individuals in the existing approved force structure, as well as all retired military personnel, and the resources needed for their support to meet the requirements of a war or other national emergency involving an external threat to the national security.

full-spectrum superiority — The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land, maritime, and space domains; electromagnetic spectrum; and information environment (which includes cyberspace) that permits the conduct of joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference.

function — The broad, general, and enduring role for which an organization is designed, equipped, and trained.

functional component command — A command normally, but not necessarily, composed of forces of two or more Military Departments which may be established across the range of military operations to perform particular operational missions that may be of short duration or may extend over a period of time. See also component; Service component command.

functional damage assessment — The estimate of the effect of military force to degrade or destroy the functional or operational capability of the target to perform its intended mission and on the level of success in achieving operational objectives established against the target. See also damage assessment; target.

fusion — In intelligence usage, the process of managing information to conduct all-source analysis and derive a complete assessment of activity.

Military Dictionary A to Z


See also Official DOD Shortened Word Forms.

Source: Official DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.