ENGLISH CHANNEL (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) completed the third and final week of Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST).
FOST originates out of naval bases in the United Kingdom (UK), with purpose to deliver operational training across all disciplines for the Royal Navy and other navies desiring to make use of its services.
“FOST represents the pinnacle for building cohesion and teamwork within a warship,” said Lt. j.g McKenzie Anderson, Porter’s training officer. “Porter's crew has learned to flex to new casualties, new reporting procedures, and new methods of communication between ships in a task group. Our ability to work with other NATO units highlights our ability to be anywhere, at any time, and work cohesively with any NATO ship to accomplish any mission.”
Sailors during FOST participated in six general quarters drills, loss of steering drills, man overboard exercises, one towing exercise, one moor to a buoy exercise in 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 weekly war environment, the USS Porter simulated an eight hour general quarters environment, 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 and the U.S. Navy's Afloat Training Group (ATG) experts.
“I believe FOST is instrumental for both us and our NATO Allies,” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, USS Porter’s commanding officer. “The United Kingdom Royal Navy FOST inspectors bring a wealth of knowledge and put our Sailors to the test ensuring the crew is capable of handling the pressures during countless hours of intense training. It was that intensity and shared knowledge which ultimately helped us become a more efficient and effective fighting unit. We had major improvements in all areas and I am very pleased and proud of everyone onboard. It was an all-hands effort."
The destroyer’s crew earned several certifications participating in FOST; Command, Control, and Communications, Cryptologic Warfare, Electronic Warfare, Intelligence, Air Warfare, Surface Warfare, Undersea Warfare, Seamanship, and Navigation.
FOST offers tailored training to meet specific requirements of multinational navies, air forces, and elements of land forces. The syllabus is framed around NATO doctrine and is aimed at delivering Royal Navy standards. It draws 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.
Porter, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S national security interests in Europe and Africa.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
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