By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kyle Steckler
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) began Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), March 26, 2018.
FOST is headquartered at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport in the United Kingdom and delivers operational training across all disciplines for the Royal Navy and other NATO affiliated navies.
FOST offers tailored training to meet the specific national requirements of many other navies, air forces and elements of land forces. The syllabus is framed around NATO doctrine and is aimed at delivering Royal Navy standards, drawing upon FOST's experience across an array of platforms to capture and promote best practices.
FOST prepares all surface warships, submarines and auxiliaries for peacetime, peace-support and war-fighting operations. Starting with basic alongside preparatory safety and readiness training, units progress through single threat and multi-threat scenarios to advanced tactical training at Task Group level.
“FOST is a holistic approach to maritime warfare that forward deployed Naval Forces Europe ships are fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in. Not only does it give us the chance to work closely with international allies, but it challenges us to share ideas that hone our combat effectiveness. As much as we gain from training on our own, taking part in these realistic scenarios will further develop Ross’ lethality and give our watch-standers greater perspective,” said Cmdr. Bryan S. Gallo, commanding officer of Ross.
Afloat Training Group provides dynamic, quality afloat training to Sailors to ensure a combat-ready force capable of performing a broad spectrum of maritime missions. Special emphasis is placed on training ships' training teams, special evolution teams and watch teams to institutionalize the onboard capability to sustain and improve combat readiness throughout an employment cycle.
Over the next few weeks, the officers and crew of Ross will conduct numerous training serials and multi-warfare area scenarios.
The first day of FOST consisted of a Material Assessment and Safety Check, an inspection to ensure crew members are qualified to operate their equipment, while also ensuring the equipment is safe for use in its operational functioning standards.
The rest of FOST is a three-week evolution consisting of various training exercises to include firing all weapon systems aboard Ross during gunnery exercises and various damage control environments and seamanship evolutions to include navigation and basic deck evolutions.
Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting naval operations with allies and partners in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in order to advance security and stability in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.