NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence
The NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence (MW COE) is a multi-nationally sponsored entity, which offers recognised expertise and experience to the benefit of the Alliance, especially in support of its transformation endeavours. The NATO MW COE is not a part of the NATO Command Structure (NCS), but forms part of the wider framework supporting NATO Command Arrangements (NCA).
Located in Poljče, a small village in Gorenjska region, Slovenia, the MW COE is a NATO-accredited international military institution which provides opportunities to enhance education and training, to improve interoperability and capabilities, to assist in doctrine development and/or to test and validate concepts through experimentation in mountain warfare.
The NATO MW COE will not duplicate assets and resources, or complete with capabilities that already exist within NATO. One mandatory purpose of the NATO MW COE is to provide tangible improvement to NATO capabilities, thereby adding value. The activities of the COE shall be consistent with NATO efforts.
The establishment of the NATO MW COE contributes to the transformation and adaption of the Alliance’s capabilities, which enable its forces to better operate in the mountain environment.
The NATO MW COE incorporates a professional core that will ensure and develop the subject matter expertise to meet the requirements of mountain warfare doctrine and concept development. This will enhance the ability of individuals and military units to engage in mountain warfare as well as the Alliance’s interoperability to operate in mountainous environment.
The NATO MW COE represents the core with the required professional skills to develop standardized training. It is organized so as to allow the functioning of three pillars: concept development, experimentation and lessons learned; education and training; doctrine and standardization.
The field of mountain warfare is currently covered by various NATO bodies; therefore one of the first tasks assumed by the NATO MW COE will be to synthesize the existing contents and verify their mutual compliance. In line with the interests of the participating countries expressed within the Steering committee, the NATO MW COE will conduct approved activities such as the development of concepts, doctrines, lessons learned, and education and training in line with NATO standards, and thus contribute to increased interoperability and development of the Alliance in the field of mountain warfare.