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Operational Sea Training

Operational Sea Training

Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) delivers through-life operational training across all disciplines for RN/RFA and other Navies that wish to make use of its world class services.

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Key information


FOST’s training prepares all types of 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. This is achieved through a structured system of relevant and focussed operational training, with an emphasis throughout on realism, including battle damage simulation and all aspects of war fighting.

Course details


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 practice. This spectrum of training has been provided for over 50 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 benefits include direct access to realistic supporting assets, backed up by a well-proven and highly flexible 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. FOST’s long and proud tradition is founded on the delivery of Operational Sea Training for the Royal Navy since 1958. Sea Training though is continually reviewed and adapted to ensure the currency and relevance of training to match today’s security environment. Training is delivered by an experienced sea going staff, across all specialisations, comprising some 300 Officers and Senior Rates. The Royal Navy has a reputation for being a world leader in Operational Sea Training; this accolade is certainly not to be taken for granted and great effort is expended in maintaining standards. FOST would welcome the opportunity to discuss the delivery of any sea training requirement. 


  • Shore-based simulator training for submarine crews.
  • Alongside safety and readiness training for all surface units emerging from build or refit in preparation for sea.
  • Preliminary Safety Training for surface units in harbour and at sea, focussing on safety-related aspects such as navigation, seamanship, firefighting and damage control.
  • 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 Operations.



  • Prepares participants to operate together in formations to achieve joint missions and take their place in, or as a component of Joint Combined Task Force.
  • Configured to ensure warfighting skills relevant to current operations in the littoral can be practiced.
  • 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 other training.
  • Work-up Phase includes a serialised training programme of warfare and other serials to achieve rapid force integration. Combat enhancement Phase develops through a period of tension under tight Rules Of Engagement into open hostilities, with all facets of Warfare, Command and Control being practised and offers CTGs maximum tactical freedom, compatible with achieving training requirements.

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