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The Mountain Warfare Staff Officer Course is the second level of progressive mountain light infantry/light infantry officer training, preparing students to carry out staff duties in mountain operations. Its purpose is to provide independent and group in-service training during which students use their acquired knowledge to plan, organize and conduct training in units of a particular branch/service/specialty, commands and staff.

This course is designed for: NATO and Partner members requiring the particular knowledge and skills necessary to safely and efficiently operate in the complex terrain and climatic conditions of the mountain environment.

Structure of the Course:

The two-week course is comprised of three parts: a General Module, a Module of Tactics
and Doctrine of the branch/service/specialty, and the Staff Operations Module. The students will be introduced to the NATO Planning Process using NATO standards based
on the Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD) by means of the steps of the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP).

The first week focuses on the introduction of the specifics of the mountain environment, familiarization with military mountaineering equipment, and the role of mountain troops in the preparation and execution of training and military operations. In the second part of the first week, the students will learn about the influence of climate and terrain specifics on combat functions.

In the second week, the course participants will be faced with a tactical situation in order to become able to overcome the challenges of fighting in areas where technological supremacy can be negated by even the most crude and non-technical enemy actions. The students will be faced with a tactical situation and train in planning procedures, taking into consideration the specifics of mountainous terrain and its influence on combat power (receipt of mission, METT-T analysis, issue of warning order, preparation of a tentative plan, initiation of movement, reconnoitring, completion of plan, issuing the OPORD).

Learning performance:

  • Understanding and correct use of NATO mountain warfare related terminology.
  • The main mountain warfare capabilities, and the differences in relation to light infantry brigade.
  • Advisory role of mountain cell related to the support of the commander.
  • Discuss Operation Anaconda in order to understand the environment of operation and the main players.
  • Fundamentals of movement
    and manoeuvre in mountains.
  • Peculiarities of C2 in mountainous terrain.
  • Intelligence requirements for conducting military operations in mountainous regions.
  • Specifics of fire support in difficult mountainous terrain.
  • Basic protection requirements in mountainous terrain.
  • Fundamentals of information operations.
  • Sustainment considerations related to operations in mountains.
  • Fundamentals of health protection requirements for operations in mountains.

Each student must successfully achieve all the Enabling Learning Objectives (ELOs) in order to acquire knowledge and skills as follows:


  • To use MW SMEs efficiently during the planning and conducting of operations.
  • To develop a logistic plan to support all elements in the AOR including alternative possibilities and means, civilian assets and installations, and to efficiently conduct it.
  • To include special vehicles, civilian vehicles and installations in supply and transport planning.
  • To sustain, repair, construct, protect and organize use of land lines of communications.
  • To establish an improvised Battalion Aid Station (BAS, divided) and subunits with medical resources and personnel, when necessary.
  • To plan, organize, prepare and conduct the evacuation of casualties or complete subunits/elements at all times by several different means.
  • To sustain isolated elements for longer periods of time and to plan and conduct proper relief in place.
  • To plan, organize and conduct the maintenance of vehicles, special equipment and weapons as far forward as possible to avoid transporting them.
  • To plan and conduct the most appropriate relief in place system that allows personnel and units to recover from the stress caused by mountain conditions.


  • To evaluate, reconnoitre and assess all land lines of communication with respect to the most efficient use by different types of vehicles and considering mountain hazards.
  • To consider and coordinate the use of land lines of communication (LOCs) with the civilian population.
  • To improve or even support the construction of LOCs, if necessary, and develop a circulation plan for vehicle movements to avoid traffic jams.
  • To develop a movement and transportation plan using the most suitable and effective means of transportation.
  • To use each movement in its AOR for transportation tasks as well.


  • To conduct offensive, defensive, stability and enabling operations in mountainous terrain by adjusting planning, procedures, tactics and command and control (C2) measures to the challenging environment and own capabilities.
  • To execute C2 in difficult and overstretched areas of responsibility, and establish and run a communication net which is also backed up by several different means.
  • To receive attached units and be able to integrate them, taking into account their mountain training and the need for additional specialized support.
  • To organize a synchronized information collection plan including assets from higher echelons, collecting information from local people about the environment, and if needed, from additional reconnaissance elements of own combat forces, to cover all compartmentalized mountainous terrain of the area of interest to prevent surprises.
  • To develop an integrated intelligence picture with a focus on verifying and complementing important electronic and area intelligence with human reconnaissance.
  • To assess the sensible number of deployed heavy weapons, versus the amount of ammunition available.
  • To coordinate available joint fire support and to allocate those assets or their availability effectively into the operations plan.
  • To plan, organize and conduct a wide variety of sustainment measures (e.g. shelter, depot, food, special equipment, personal hygiene, relief in place, self-sustainment) to keep deployed forces combat effective.
  • The BDE knows the targeting methodology and understands the different kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities and their limitations for support in a mountainous environment.

Target Audience:

  1. Rank Level: OF 1-4.
  2. Language Proficiency: English SLP 2222 – STANAG 6001 or ALCPT 80%.
  3. Prerequisite Courses: The course participants are requested to complete two e-Learning courses provided by NATO MW COE prior to attending the course:
    • Basic Mountain Environment Characteristic
    • Combat Functions in Mountain Warfare