FOST has been training Royal Navy ships for nearly 50 years. During the Second World War much of the Operational Sea Training (OST) of the Royal Navy was conducted in Scotland around Tobermory. In 1946 the economics of the post-war period began to bite and so it became necessary to restrict the larger capital ships to home water exercises and harbour training. Linked to the Fleet returning to peace-time manning, this precipitated the formation of the Portland Training Squadron, whose role was to prepare ships for their operational tasks before they joined their squadrons.
OST was established at Portland in late 1958 as a modification of the existing Portland Training Squadron’s role. Many famous names passed through Portland that first year, HMS Belfast and HMS Daring to name but two. The last Royal Navy ship to undergo OST at Portland, before the move to Plymouth in the summer of 1995, was the Type 22 frigate HMS London.