The Northern Warfare Training Center

Thursday November 17, 2011

What is it?

The Northern Warfare Training Center (NWTC) is an Army Training Requirements and Resources System School that offers students training in cold weather tactics, techniques and procedures along with mountain navigation, movement and combat fighting techniques, as well as injury prevention and safety considerations.

What has the Army done?

The Army operates the NWTC to prepare Soldiers and units for combat in high altitude and cold environments, similar to what the Army is facing today in Afghanistan and other contentious places across the globe.

The NWTC has prepared units and specialty teams for countries like Afghanistan's high altitude and cold environments which should be an important part of any deploying unit's training regimen. It teaches Soldiers and leaders how to use the environment to their advantage and how to think on their feet in adverse conditions. The NWTC offers four core courses: the Cold Weather Leaders Course and the Cold Weather Orientation Course in the winter months; the Basic Mountaineering Course and the Assault Climbers Course in the summer months as well as specialized training per requests for units or individuals that will conduct operations in mountainous terrain and must operate independently of major units or will lead larger organizations over technically hazardous terrain.

Why is this important to the Army?

Soldiers and leaders receive first-class training on cold weather survival skills, risk management and maneuver techniques for snow, ice and mountainous terrain as well as specialized tactical combat training required by units preparing for deployment to mountainous and cold weather environments across the globe. Soldiers and leaders that have taken the courses at the NWTC are able to pass on the knowledge to those in their units that have not had the course and are able to make their units more prepared for the obstacles they face on their day-to-day missions. Cold and treacherous terrains no longer slow down these units and the knowledge they possess gives them the level playing field they need to succeed.

Maj. Gen. Raymond Palumbo, U.S. Army Alaska commanding general, in an interview with Soldier Radio and Television, emphasized that "our Army needs cold weather trained Soldiers and units to be able to deploy around the world." (2:08 to 2:13)

What is planned for the future?

The war in Afghanistan is not over. The NWTC will continue to develop war fighters who are capable and competent to perform the duties required of them. They will ensure the U.S. Army forces are properly trained not only to fight and navigate safely in cold and mountainous terrains, but will be able to use the terrain to their advantage to close with and defeat the enemy.


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