The acronym stands for Front Line Own Troops and quite literally means the point at which one’s OWN troops are closest to the enemy in an engagement. It is important information for air support so that they do not hit the friendly forces they are trying to help. It is one of the reasons coloured smoke grenades are carried.
This is another of those stories that are legend and there is some doubt around the ACTUAL events but, in the craziness that is war and the characters that emerge, I have no doubt that it is solidly founded in fact (with a smidgeon of embellishment perhaps?).
Anyway the story is that some of our coloured troops were caught up in a contact with terrorists. As mentioned in another story these men were some of the most quick-witted humorists one could ever meet – even in moments of high stress.
While they were pretty much holding their own, the situation was not good and the group of terrorists looked set to get the upper hand.
The patrol called in for assistance and an armed aircraft was diverted to see what could be done.
- Shortly the pilot’s ever-laconic voice was heard calling the patrol:
- “47 this is Cyclone 4 how can we assist over”. (it may have been one of the other squadrons of course…)
- “Where you ouens?” comes the reply from the ground in a slightly surprised, almost defensive, tone.
- “Approaching your position from the South, over”
- “Roger, this gooks is in front of us and we can’t move”
- “Roger that – can you mark your FLOT, over”
- Something of a pregnant pause…then “What?”
- “I need you to mark your FLOT, over”
- Live mic for a few moments with obvious whispering in background, then…”What do you mean? over”
- “I can’t see you – can you throw smoke, over”
Another longish pause then… “Madison or Kingsgate? over”