After a long Covid-19 break, the NATO MW COE resumed its activities as before the pandemic. In this light, the MW Small Units Leader Course (summer) was conducted from 7 to 18 JUN 2021. Nineteen attendees from eight NATO countries, namely BGR, CZE, DEU, GBR, HRV, ITA, MNE and SVN, took part in the course.
The two-week course is comprised of four parts: leadership, movement, survival, and tactics, with both certain topics lectured in the classroom as well as hands on part conducted in high mountanious terrain. It provided students with the basic knowledge required to plan, support and execute operations in mountainous terrain.
The classes were also complemented by a field study, where based on the example of the Battle of Isonzo in 1917, a Slovenian expert on military history explained the building of trenches and fortifications in mountains during the WW I.
By combining theory and practical activities, students were enabled to prepare concepts of operation for a designated company. Working in groups, the participants, after receiving the OPORD from the battalion commander, developed their plan. In order to better understand the task, the audience conducted a reconnaissance, where they were familiarized with the area of operation (the Karavanke mountain range, Mt. Stol 2236 m). During the march, they had the opportunity to utilize specialized mountain equipment to overcome difficult terrain. A final step of tactical planning was concluded through back briefs where they presented their method of taking decisions.
Through this course, participants (leaders of small units), gained knowledge on how to develop interoperability, simply said, how to fight together in difficult terrain and harsh mountainous environment.