NATO Mountain Warfare Operations Planning Course

MW COE Education & Training Branch

NATO Mountain Warfare Operations Planning Course

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Code: LOP-LO-37031


  • Increase the tactical and operational qualifications of leaders, commanders, staff officers and advisors in planning and conducting military operations in mountainous environments, by enhancing the understanding of specific challenges in mountain terrain & weather, and developing feasible & effective plans that can overcome them;
  • Foster the adaptability and resilience of military personnel by exposing them to diverse and unpredictable mountain environments, by building the ability to successfully conduct activities in diverse and challenging terrain, in all weather conditions;
  • Integrate a broader multi-domain concept into Mountain Warfare operations planning, by understanding the importance of coordinating efforts across domains to achieve operational planning success in a complex multi-domain environment.

Structure of the course:

Prior to starting this course, attendees are required to have completed our introductive e-Learning course Basic Mountain Warfare Environment Characteristics, as a preparation for the residential course.

The residential course consists of two parts, with an overall duration of five days, as follows:

  • A theoretical part, based on current NATO policies and publications related to operations and activities in mountain environment as a specific environment, where participants gain knowledge for planning and implementing offensive, defensive, stability and enabling activities and operations in accordance with ATP 3.2.1 Conduct of Land Tactical Operations, ATP Conduct of Land Tactical Activities and ATP Conduct of Land Tactical Operations in Mountainous Environment. As part of that, participants are also introduced to ATrainP-6 Mountain Warfare Education & Training and APP-28 Tactical Planning for Land Forces. It also includes lectures and Lessons Learned from operations and battles fought in mountainous areas, in past and recent history.
  • A practical part with syndicate/group work, where the participants will be faced with a tactical situation and will act as staff officers to plan an operation in mountainous terrain through the MDMP, taking into consideration the learned specifics of Mountain Warfare and the coordination of all assets in a Multi-Domain environment. This part will also include a one-day field reconnaissance mission, conducted to assess the impact of mountainous terrain & weather on planned activities and to validate or invalidate the developed COAs.

The course will end with a combination of written examinations and performance-based group assessment, under the form of a Commander’s Decision Briefing with the staff’s recommended Course of Action for the operation plan of each syndicate.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the strategic importance and the geopolitical security challenges of mountainous regions;
  • Illustrate key characteristics and challenges of mountain environments and predict the impact of altitude, weather, and terrain on military operations;
  • Identify the necessary equipment and suitable tactics for the mountainous terrain;
  • Understand the physiological and psychological effects of high-altitude operations on personnel and equipment;
  • Discuss Lessons Learned from Mountain Warfare operations and the importance of Multi-Domain approach in such environment;
  • Explain the specifics of Joint Functions and combined arms approach in Mountain Warfare operations;
  • Describe the tactical activities of Mountain Warfare;
  • State Mountain Warfare planning and commanding principles and iterate the NATO operation planning process;
  • Conduct Mission Analysis with particular emphasis on mountain specific factors, considering elevation, slope, vegetation, weather, etc.;
  • Assess environmental and tactical risks in an area of operations in mountainous terrain;
  • Prepare Mountain Situation Plan topographic overlay in support to the tactical planning;
  • Develop COAs with regards to mountain specific variables and integrating joint functions & combined arms efforts to optimize combat power;
  • Plan an operation with flexible, adaptive and contingency courses of action regarding the changing conditions of mountainous terrain in a multi-domain environment.

Security Classification:

NATO UNCLASSIFIED releasable to PfP.

Target Audience:

Commanders, leaders, staff officers, planners, advisors and civilian equivalent, working in planning and conducting operations at battalion, brigade and division level, assigned to NATO Command Structures, NATO members and PfP nations, conducting activities or having the possibility to operate in the future in mountainous environments.

Rank Level:

OF-1 to OF-4 and selected OR-7 to OR-9, according to requirements.

Language Proficiency:

Recommended English SLP 3333, minimum 3232 – NATO STANAG 6001.


  • Online e-Learning course Basic Mountain Warfare Environment Characteristics, available on NATO JADL and NATO MW COE e-Learning platforms.
    (upload graduation certificate in the registration form)

Event fee:


Project Officer:

Staff Officer, Education & Training Branch

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20 spots left

Date And Time

10 June 2024 to
14 June 2024

Registration End Date

30 April 2024

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