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A Field Force in British military parlance is a combined arms land force operating under actual or assumed combat circumstances[1] usually for the length of a specific military campaign.

A Field Force would be created from the various units in an area of military operations and be named for the geographical area. Examples are-

In Australia a Field Force comprises the units required to meet operational commitments.[2]

In the United States, during the Vietnam War the term "Corps" was used for various parts of South Vietnam i.e "I Corps". To avoid confusion the Corps sized military command that controlled U.S. Army Divisions and other units was called a "Field Force" such as I Field Force and II Field Force.

The US Army refers to task forces as temporary organisations of military units for a specific mission though they usually may be of battalion size. Task Forces were formerly named after the unit commander, such as Task Force Smith at the beginning of the Korean War. Similar temporary military formations in British, Imperial, or Commonwealth units were formerly known by the name of the Commander i.e. Layforce for Colonel Robert Laycock's command.

Police field forces

In counter insurgency type campaigns, select and specially trained units of police armed and equipped as light infantry have been designated as police field forces who perform paramilitary type patrols and ambushes whilst retaining their police powers in areas that were highly dangerous.[3]

Examples of these are-


  1. ^ p.88 Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt and Hayes, Grace P. Dictionary of Military Terms: A Guide to the Language of Warfare and Military Institutions 1986 The H.W. Wilson Company
  2. ^
  3. ^ p.Davies, Bruce & McKay, Gary The Men Who Persevered:The AATTV 2005 Bruce & Unwin


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