Thursday War

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Operations room staff on board HMS Illustrious during a Thursday War. The operations room on board the ship is the hub of the vessel's sensors, and it is from here that her weapons systems are directed. Operations Room Staff Onboard HMS Illustrious During an Exercise MOD 45153376.jpg
Operations room staff on board HMS Illustrious during a Thursday War. The operations room on board the ship is the hub of the vessel's sensors, and it is from here that her weapons systems are directed.

A Thursday War is the colloquial name given in the Royal Navy for the weekly war-fighting and damage control exercises that are held during Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST), so named because they are usually held on a Thursday. FOST is responsible for ensuring that Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels are fit to join the operational fleet by testing vessels' readiness through a series of drills and exercises. [1] These culminate in the so-called 'Thursday War', war-fighting scenarios designed to test a ship's company's reaction to various situations and emergencies. [2] [3]


Typically a 'Thursday War' involves a range of scenarios which include the vessel undergoing simulated attacks by aircraft, missiles and submarines; sustaining damage and casualties, and testing the crew's ability to fight fire, floods and deal with personnel injuries while underway. The exercise is designed to test the ship's operational readiness to fight in a real war situation and is the culmination of the FOST training period. [4] [5]

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  1. Allison, George (29 June 2020). "Flag Officer Sea Training organisation renamed". ukdj.
  2. "Navy marks 50th year of world-renowned training". Royal Navy History. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  3. "George Bush bound for Portsmouth after war games with Royal Navy". Navy News . 23 May 2011. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  4. "Defence Minister goes to war off Plymouth". Royal Navy.[ dead link ]
  5. Burrell, Ian (29 January 1998). "Iraq Crisis: Thursday War in the Channel is dress rehearsal for real thing in the Gulf". The Independent . London, UK. ISSN   0951-9467. OCLC   185201487 . Retrieved 25 October 2013.