Unit History: FOST
International Defence Training (Royal Navy)
FLAG OFFICER SEA TRAINING
Flag Officer Sea Training, commonly known as FOST, delivers the Royal Navy’s
through-life operational training across all platforms and all disciplines.
FOST’s training prepares all types of surface warships, submarines and
auxiliaries for peacetime, peace-support and war-fi ghting operations.
Starting with basic alongside preparatory safety and readiness training,
units progress through single-threat and multi-threat scenarios to advanced
tactical training at group level. This is achieved through a structured system
of relevant and focussed operational training, with an emphasis throughout
on training realism, including battle damage simulation.
This extends beyond the Royal Navy, as FOST offers tailored training to
meet the specifi c national requirements of many other navies, air forces,
and elements of land forces. Syllabus development incorporates national
doctrine while maintaining Royal Navy standards, drawing upon FOST’s
experience across an array of platforms to capture and promote best practice.
This spectrum of training has been provided for more than 30 years,
with many NATO and non-NATO nations returning regularly.
The extensive exercise areas around the United Kingdom provide the focus for
Operational Sea Training, where the many benefi ts include direct access to
realistic supporting assets backed up by a well-proven and highly fl exible
infrastructure. Careful co-ordination of the programme provides optimum
interaction between units under training, which improves force integration.
The international dimension of FOST’s activity enables better interoperability
with other navies and air forces.
Where it is impractical for units to transit to the United Kingdom for training,
mobile teams may be available to deploy and deliver training locally,
particularly for mine warfare and patrol vessels.
FOST’s long and proud tradition is founded on his delivery of Operational
Sea Training for the Royal Navy since 1958. Sea Training has continued
to develop to meet changing needs and is constantly reviewed and
adapted to ensure the currency and relevance of training to match today’s
environment. Training is delivered by an experienced sea going staff, across
all specialisations, of some 350 Offi cers and Senior Rates.
The Royal Navy has a reputation for being a world leader in Operational
Sea Training - an achievement that is not taken for granted. FOST would
welcome the opportunity to discuss the delivery of any sea training
The following provides an outline of FOST operational training. Specific
national requirements will be met from tailored packages to national doctrine, delivered to Royal Navy standards and incorporating best practice.
FLAG OFFICER SEA TRAINING
Unit Level Training:
Shore-based simulator training for submarine crews.
Alongside safety and readiness training for all units emerging from build
or refi t in preparation for sea.
Preliminary Safety Training, in harbour and at sea, focussing on safetyrelated
aspects such as navigation, seamanship, fi re fi ghting and damage
Shakedown training to prepare units for Basic Operational Sea Training.
General Training and Basic Operational Sea Training on completion
of trials and in preparation for operations, covering all aspects of unit
activity, including operations in a multi-threat environment.
Staff Covered Weapon Training or more focussed Deployment Training to
maintain and develop operational capability.
Continuation training to maintain capability for deployed units.
Specialist surface unit training, including Amphibious, Hydrographic, Mine
Warfare, Disaster Relief and Economic Exclusion Zone Training.
Specialist submarine training, including Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-
Submarine Warfare, ISTAR (Information, Surveillance, Targeting
and Reconnaissance), Inshore and Special Operations, Special Forces
Group Level Joint Maritime Courses
Prepares participants to operate together in formations, to achieve joint
missions and take their place in, or as, a component of a Joint Combined
Confi gured to ensure war-fi ghting skills relevant to current operations in
the littoral can be practised
Training contracts generated by direct input from participating units or
from national command authorities.
Course design drives participants together through the complex training
package to ensure maximum interaction.
Aircraft tasked in a variety of roles to conduct their own and support
Work-up Phase includes a serialised training programme of warfare and
other serials to achieve rapid force integration and combat enhancement.
Operations Phase develops through a period of tension under tight
Rules Of Engagement into open hostilities with all facets of warfare and
Command and Control being practised and offers CTGs maximum tactical
freedom, compatible with achieving training requirements.
Course debrief by training staff of perceived strengths, weaknesses and
Founded on NATO operating procedures, the Course is not normally open
to participants from non-NATO countries.