The NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence (NATO MW COE) organized the first Mountain Warfare Staff Officer Course designed for battalion and brigade level staff officers from 11 to 22 October 2021. Thirteen attendees from five NATO countries (DEU, HRV, ITA, POL and SVN) took part in the course.
The course is designed for NATO Members and Partners requiring the particular knowledge and skills necessary to safely and efficiently operate in the complex terrain and climatic conditions of the mountain environment.
The purpose of the course 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.
The two-week course was in three parts: a general module; a module of tactics and doctrine; and a staff operations module. In addition to NATO MW COE personnel, the course was taught by lecturers with a variety of backgrounds, involving the DEU, ITA, POL, SVN and USA armed forces, the NATO CWO COE, the NATO MILENG COE, the NATO JCBRN COE, the NATO MILMED COE and the Multinational CIMIC Group HQ.
Additionally, in the first week of the course, the students participated in a key study trip which was dedicated to the Battle of Isonzo (1917, WWI), and continued their journey through the historic events of the Isonzo Front in the Kobarid Museum, Slovenia.
In the second week, battalion staff training based on the Infantry Light Mountain Brigade Operational Order (INF-L-MNT OPORD) was conducted. After preparing an analysis, the course participants undertook a reconnaissance of an Area of Operation (AOO) on difficult mountain terrain. The work was continued with tactical planning and concluded with the students’ back brief to the commander.
This course familiarized the participants with interoperability in a multinational environment in order to plan, organize and conduct a wide variety of operations in difficult mountainous terrain and all weather conditions.