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Convoy of ships supporting Allied forces in the Invasion of Normandy in World War II

A line of communication (or communications) is the route that connects an operating military unit with its supply base. Supplies and reinforcements are transported along the line of communication. Therefore, a secure and open line of communication is vital for any military force to continue to operate effectively. Prior to the advent of the use of telegraph and radio in warfare, lines of communication were also the routes used by despatch riders on horseback and runners to convey and deliver orders and battle updates to and from unit commanders and headquarters. Thus, a unit whose lines of communication were compromised was vulnerable to becoming isolated and defeated, as the means for requesting reinforcements and resupply is lost. The standard military abbreviation is LOC or SLOC for Sea line of communication or ALOC for Air line of communication.

The interdiction of supplies and reinforcements to units closer to the front lines is therefore an important strategic goal for opposing forces. Some notable examples:

Logistics related

Specific logistics operations


a line of communication can also refers to a civilian management (corporations lines of communication)


  • The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military. Copyright © 2001, 2002 by Oxford University Press

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