20-14 - Mountain Warfare and Cold Weather Operations Leader’s Book

By Center for Army Lessons LearnedApril 16, 2020

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL


This handbook is for leader training for operating in a mountainous environment. This is the first edition of this handbook, based on first-hand observations and a review of current and past Army doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) by operational advisors from or attached to the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG).

Recently, many additional Army references dealing with this subject have been created or updated, following more than 10 years of combat experience and identification of best practices in the mountains of Afghanistan. These documents address individual or squad-level tasks and concerns. In this handbook, AWG will address the principal gap of informing leaders and staff of the considerations necessary to plan, operate, fight, and win in mountainous terrain at the company level and above. Many charts, references, and examples from other Army publications are incorporated into this handbook where appropriate.

The information contained in this handbook is a result of observations made by AWG unit members conducting operations in mountainous terrain worldwide, and a review of Army doctrine. The Army Mountain Warfare School, Northern Warfare Training Center, Ranger Training Brigade, sister-services, and allied institutions provided additional insights.

The observations in this handbook are Geographic Combatant Command (GCC) agnostic and adaptable to mountain operations throughout the world. Mountains present leaders and units with unique challenges that compound existing difficult combat realities. The adverse environmental conditions in the mountains can make basic tasks seem almost impossible.

This handbook is intended to enhance published Army doctrine at the collective level. Leaders will find this handbook valuable in prioritizing tasks for training and pre-deployment planning for any military operations in the mountains. No previous mountain training or expertise is required to understand and practice most TTP contained in this publication. Users who have experience operating in a mountainous environment can use this handbook to assist them in learning what veterans of mountain operations already know: vertical environments are among the most challenging in which to conduct and sustain combat operations.

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20-14.pdf [PDF - 2.7 MB]

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