By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Claire M. DuBois
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) completes Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), May 8, 2021.
FOST was three weeks of integrated warfighting training involving every aspect of the ship. The training is led by the British Royal Navy, and it aims to certify NATO ships in advanced warfare areas across all disciplines.
Together with land and air units and with increasing numbers of NATO and foreign participants conducting training under its guidance, FOST has established and maintains a worldwide reputation for excellence.
“Team Ross did an excellent job during FOST," said Cmdr. John D. John, commanding officer of Ross. "We met each challenge during training as an opportunity to build on our collective strength, which will increase our confidence in each other and our ship for the remainder of this patrol."
During FOST, Ross Sailors participated in general quarters drills, man overboard exercises, a moor to a buoy exercise, anti-terrorism force protection exercises, multiple training team environments to include combat scenarios, seamanship training team scenarios, gunnery exercises, damage control training, engineering training and a weekly war environment.
In the war environment, Ross simulated two six-hour general quarters environments, following a storyline of shipboard attacks from enemy forces. Sailor’s reactions during the events were being assessed by the United Kingdom Royal Navy FOST sailors.
"It was a pleasure to see the Royal Navy and U.S. Navy work together," said British Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer "Tetley" Teahan, Abovewater Warfare Weapons Specialist 3 for FOST, "It's always good to learn from other navies, because we learn just as much from them as they do from us."
FOST offers tailored training to meet specific requirements of multinational navies, air forces, and elements of land forces. The schedule is framed around NATO doctrine and aims to deliver Royal Navy standards. It draws upon FOST's experience across an array of platforms to capture and promote best practices in many capacities.
Ross’s presence in the North Atlantic is a demonstration of the U.S. Navy's commitment and collective defense of the European region.
From the Naval Bases at Portsmouth, Plymouth, the Clyde in Scotland and a small team at Northwood in Middlesex, Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST) provides training for all surface ships, submarines, Royal Fleet Auxiliaries and Strike Groups of the Royal Navy by a dedicated team of experts, led by Commander Fleet Operational Sea Training (COM FOST).
Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its 11th patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
Four U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, including Ross, are based in Rota, Spain, and assigned to Commander, Task Force 65 in support of NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense architecture. These Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.
U.S. Sixth 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.