MEDITERRANEAN SEA (NNS) — The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) began Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) March 23.
FOST is based out of naval bases in the United Kingdom (UK); it delivers operational training across all disciplines for the Royal Navy and other Navies that wish to make use of its services.
“It’s important that we involve ourselves in FOST because it gives us the chance to operate with our international partners and these kinds of training exercises teach us how to work well with other NATO ships.”
“FOST is preparing us for Joint Warrior, which is a 54-nation, international exercise in which we’ll operate as part of a strike group.”
– Lt. Matthew Brown, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) Operations Officer
* Donald Cook is being assessed by the U.S. Navy’s Afloat Training Group (ATG) and the FOST UK inspectors:
o ATG will observe Donald Cook operations and provide guidance within U.S. standards.
o FOST inspectors evaluate Donald Cook’s readiness in accordance with the upcoming Joint Warrior Exercise.
* 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.
* 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.
o Established in 1958 by Lord Louis Mountbatten, The U.S. Navy and navies around the world have sent, and continue to send, ships to FOST.
* ATG provides dynamic, quality afloat training to Navy and Coast Guard 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.
* The first day of FOST consisted of a Material Assessment and Safety Check (MASC), an inspection to ensure that Donald Cook crew members are qualified to operate their equipment, while 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:
o Firing all weapon systems on board during gunnery exercises.
o Various damage control environments and seamanship evolutions to include navigation and basic deck evolutions.
* USS Donald Cook (DDG 75), 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.