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Forward air control is the provision of guidance to Close Air Support aircraft intended to ensure that their attack hits the intended target and does not injure friendly troops. This task is carried out by a forward air controller. For NATO forces the qualifications and experience required to be a FAC are set out in a NATO Standard. FACs may form part of a Fire Support Team or Tactical Air Control Party, they may be ground based, airborne FACs in fixed-wing aircraft or in helicopters. Since 2003 the United States Armed Forces have used the term joint terminal attack controller for some of their ground based FACs. A primary function of a Forward Air Controller is ensuring the safety of friendly troops. Enemy targets in the Front line are often close to friendly forces and therefore friendly forces are at risk of friendly fire through proximity during air attack. The danger is twofold: the bombing pilot cannot identify the target clearly, and is not aware of the locations of friendly forces. Camouflage, constantly changing situation and the fog of war all increase the risk. Forward Air Controllers are not needed for air interdiction, the term used for air attacks conducted at further distances from friendly forces. (via Freebase)