Flag Officer Sea Training (United Kingdom)
Flag Officer Sea Training
Coat of arms of the FOST
|active||1958 to 2020|
|Armed forces||United Kingdom - Royal Navy|
|Type||Mission training facility|
|Strength||270 trainers (2008)|
|Insinuation||Flag Officer Surface Flotilla (from 1995: C-in-C Fleet)|
The Royal Navy's Flag Officer Sea Training ( FOST ) had been responsible for Fleet Operational Sea Training (also FOST) and Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST) at the Portland base near Weymouth in the British county of Dorset since 1958 Operational training for the crews of warships to carry out. The aim of the facility was to check the level of training of the ship's command and crew and to strive for the highest quality.
In 1995 FOST was relocated to Plymouth and on May 1, 2020 the training commander was given the designation Commander Fleet Operational Sea Training (COM FOST), as the management is no longer with an admiral ( flag officer ), but with a sea captain ( Captain, RN ) is in the honorary rank of Commodore .
Since 1962, the larger units of the Bundesmarine / German Navy have also regularly undergone Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST) at the FOST, which was then referred to as German Operational Sea Training (GOST).
In the United Kingdom, a new system of service in the armed forces was introduced in 1954. For the Royal Navy this meant that their ships had to work with completely new crews more frequently than before. Under the then First Sea Lord , Lord Louis Mountbatten , the Flag Officer Sea Training was introduced in September 1958 , which was carried out in the form of a special, originally seven-week course (called " shakedown" ). Crews of newly commissioned ships received familiarization courses in the operation of the facilities and systems and their interaction. This provided initial experience in dealing with all eventualities that they would potentially encounter in later service at sea and in combat.
Portland was chosen as the location because the open sea is reached immediately after leaving the port and, apart from other naval bases and civil sea or ferry ports, the exercises and maneuvers of the participating ships were subject to few nautical restrictions for the practice and training operations.
The Flag Officer Sea Training moved to Plymouth in 1995 as the Portland base closed in 1999. At the same time, FOST switched from the command area of the Flag Officer Surface Flotilla (FOSF; Admiral of the surface units) to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet (C-in-C Fleet; fleet chief).
After moving to Plymouth and the changed subordination in 1997, FOST became the central and only command with responsibility for the entire operational training of the sea and land-based units of the Royal Navy. Submarines and smaller units undergo training in the FOST department in Faslane, Scotland .
In 2008, FOST had 270 instructors called " Seariders" . The training company took place in 46 weeks per year, so that the annual capacity of the training was 25 units.
FOST had its own helicopters, which enable the instructors to get onto the ships with minimal delay during intensive training phases. For cost reasons, different equipment (aircraft and motor yachts to represent opponents) was rented in each case.
The actual training and testing phase was called Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST) and usually lasted six weeks. These were combined examinations of the technical condition of the ship and checks of the operational readiness of the crew, including a weekly combat scenario with nautical and artillery role duty , with particular emphasis on the area of ship security.
Before the start of any training, the FOST Command carried out a Material Assessment & Safety Check (MASC, formerly Staff Sea Check ). The material clarity on board was checked in detail for a day . The result indicated whether the unit was " safe to train" . If deficiencies were found, FOST refused to let personnel go on board and the training did not take place.
Days of massed exercise were known as “ Thursday War” or “ Weekly War” . Up to 30 Seariders came on board and steered or observed a training mission in which the aim was to guide a vehicle to be protected (mostly the tanker under the FOST) to a destination without delay. The exercise was to fend off simulated submarine, surface and air attacks and to avoid mines. In later years of the FOST, simulated attacks by pirates and terrorists were used to practice dealing with asymmetrical threats . The "opponents" in the exercises were British, German, Dutch and (later) Polish submarines (who trained their skills in this way), Hawk and Learjets (civilian chartered) and yachts (which were also civilly rented). The end of such a day of intensive combat exercises was an oral and written maneuver criticism, ie an assessment of the ship's command and all sections (“ assessment ” ).
An extensive disaster exercise was carried out during one of the harbor weeks . The aim was to practice rescue measures on land after a simulated natural disaster as realistically as possible (extinguishing fires, rescuing people, caring for the injured, recovering the dead, restoring infrastructure, supplying the population with essentials).
Units of the Royal Navy could also complete a so-called continuation training of 1 to 2 weeks duration, a directed continuation training geared to a specific mission or a mobile sea training on the transit, also in the operational area.
With the Basic Operational Sea Training, FOST carried out level 1 (" Tier-1 ") training for individual units and their crews. Stage 2 (" Tier 2" ) for jointly operating associations or task groups took place twice a year as part of the Joint Warrior exercise (formerly the Joint Maritime Course and Neptune Warrior ).
In addition to training the Royal Navy personnel, FOST was also able to provide operational training for naval units from NATO and Commonwealth countries. About a third of the capacity was used in this area.
Similar facilities of the navies of India and Pakistan correspond to the model of the British FOST . In the United States exists as a counterpart , the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) of the US Navy . When the USS Forrest Sherman went through a short version of BOST in 2012, comments from the crew were that it was " even more intense than INSURV" .
Even after the relocation in 1995 and the restructuring in 2020, the operational training at COM FOST continues to enjoy the same high reputation as that which has been provided by the FOST since 1958.
Use by German units
Practically all former members of the former Destroyer Flotilla of the German Navy and the Operational Flotilla 2 of the German Navy participated in the operational training in Portland and later in Devonport. In 2008, the frequency of training for German units was 6 to 7 per year.
The Federal Navy and the German Navy permanently stationed a liaison officer with the rank of frigate captain at the FOST. At the same time he was in charge of the operational training staff of the operational flotilla 2. Together with another officer and five Portepee NCOs , he formed the German Liaison Team . (As of 2008)
At the end of the 44th training trip abroad, the training ship Germany (A59) called at Portland in August 1974.
The destroyer Schleswig-Holstein graduated from the BOST in 1974. The then commander and later commander of the fleet , Dieter Franz Braun , describes in his memoir that the relationship between the commanders and the FOST training staff was not always free of tension.
German units were often among the best of the year in training at FOST. In 2007 z. B. the frigate Rhineland-Palatinate among the three best FOST participants, in the first half of 2008 the frigate Karlsruhe had the best result of all participating units.
The six-week GOST was divided into a port, a sea and another port week and finally three sea weeks. Before taking part in the GOST, the units went to Neustadt for a ship safety course for two weeks .
From 2019, the German Navy also carried out the GOST in domestic waters, but based on the British FOST model. One of the reasons was that the Royal Navy with new units, e. B. two aircraft carriers , had an increased need for training capacity. The first unit to complete the GOST in this way was the frigate Lübeck in autumn 2019 .
Flag Officer Sea Training
The position held:
- Vice Admiral Sir William G. Crawford , September 1958 to August 1960
- Vice Admiral Sir Peter Gretton , August 1960 to December 1961
- Rear Admiral Horace R. Law , December 1961 to May 1963
- Rear Admiral Patrick U. Bayly , May 1963 to April 1965
- Rear Admiral Philip G. Sharp , April 1965 to July 1967
- Rear Admiral John CY Roxburgh , July 1967 to May 1969
- Rear Admiral J. Anthony R. Troup , May 1969 to March 1971
- Rear Admiral E. Gerard N. Mansfield , March 1971 to October 1972
- Rear Admiral John O. Roberts , October 1972 to April 1974
- Rear Admiral James HF Eberle , April 1974 to April 1975
- Rear Admiral John RS Gerard-Pearse , April 1975 to November 1976
- Rear Admiral Gwynedd I. Pritchard , November 1976 to November 1978
- Rear Admiral Anthony J. Whetstone , November 1978 to September 1980
- Rear Admiral David M. Eckersley-Maslin , September 1980 to April 1982
- Rear Admiral John M. Webster , April 1982 to May 1984
- Rear Admiral Michael H. Livesay , May 1984 to December 1985
- Rear Admiral Barry N. Wilson , December 1985 to June 1987
- Rear Admiral John F. Coward , June 1987 to June 1988
- Rear Admiral Roy T. Newman, June 1988 to December 1989
- Rear Admiral A. Bruce Richardson , December 1989 to July 1991
- Rear Admiral Michael C. Boyce , July 1991 to September 1992
- Rear Admiral John G. Tolhurst , September 1992 to April 1996
- Rear Admiral Peter M. Franklyn , April 1996 to July 1997
- Rear Admiral R. John Lippiett , July 1997 to September 1999
- Rear Admiral Alexander K. Backus , September 1999 to November 2001
- Rear Admiral James C. Rapp , November 2001 to April 2004
- Rear Admiral Roger S. Ainsley , April 2004 to June 2006
- Rear Admiral Anthony J. Rix , June 2006 to May 2007
- Rear Admiral Richard J. Ibbotson , May 2007 to February 2009
- Rear Admiral Christopher A. Snow , February 2009 to July 2011
- Rear Admiral Clive CC Johnstone , July 2011 to April 2013
- Rear Admiral Benjamin J. Key , April 2013 to July 2015
From July 2015 also Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (training):
- Rear Admiral John RH Clink , July 2015 to June 2018
- Rear Admiral William J. Warrender June 2018 to May 2020
Commander Fleet Operational Sea Training
- Commodore Andrew Stacey, since June 2020
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- Jürgen Rhades: School ship Germany . Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Koblenz 1987, ISBN 3-7637-5221-8 .
- Blue Braun: Memories of the Navy 1956-1996 . 2nd Edition. Carola Hartmann Miles Verlag, Norderstedt 2013, ISBN 978-3-937885-47-6 , p. 288 .
- Michael Berk, Norbert Wendt, Klaus-Dieter Triebel: Combat training. In: fregatte-koeln.de. Retrieved July 5, 2021 .
- Andreas Uhl: F 124-Lessons Learned for F 125? In: globaldefence.net. January 25, 2008, accessed July 5, 2021 .
- The frigate “Brandenburg” completed its German Operational Sea Training from June 2nd to July 2nd. For the second time, the training was conducted exclusively by German leaders. In: bundeswehr.de. July 22, 2020, accessed July 5, 2021 .
- Michael Halama: Training on New Paths. In: Wilhelmshavener Zeitung. December 17, 2019, accessed July 5, 2021 .
- Colin Mackie: Senior Royal Navy Appointments from 1865: Flag Officer, Sea Training. In: Gulabin. January 2017, p. 245 , accessed on July 5, 2021 (English).
- George Allison: Flag Officer Sea Training Organization renamed. In: ukdefencejournal.org.uk. June 29, 2020, accessed July 5, 2021 .