Forward air control.
Post also states that the essential elements of FACing were: "... communication with local ground forces, acquisition of friendly and enemy locations, the indication of the target to the attacking aircraft." But, that focus misses what is really the essence of the mission. More importantly, the FACs had the authority to control the air attack elements, and in many cases again, even artillery, to support friendly ground units or interdict enemy troops. That is the real key to their effectiveness. In fact, I think that detailed research would indicate that the air and ground forces of many nations worked at this problem in some form. It is fundamental to the integration of ground and air power.
Instead of talking about the "origination" of forward air controlling, I think that better purpose is served in studying its evolution, something which still occurs in our most recent conflicts.
Hand salute on an interesting article. It adds to the story. And I would also like to point out that during our long war in Southeast Asia, thirty-six fine Australian airman (and fourteen from New Zealand) served as FACs side-by-side with their American counterparts and were in most cases, integrated fully into U.S. FAC units. The operation was almost seamless. The only thing which separated the two groups was our common language. Fair dinkum!
Col. Darrel D. Whitcomb, USAFR (Ret.), Fairfax, Virginia. Historian, FAC Association.