Centre of Excellence – Cold Weather Operations

Surrounded by freezing temperatures and extreme weather, the Norwegian Armed Forces have experience and knowledge on how to survive and conduct military operations in cold weather.

The NATO Centre of Excellence for Cold Weather Operations acts as the main provider and coordinator of expertise and capabilities in the area of Cold Weather Operations in NATO.

We provide NATO and partner nations the necessary competence in order to operate under Arctic, sub-Arctic and Cold Weather conditions. This is done through utilising the full spectrum of competence in the Norwegian Armed Forces, coordinated with other nations' competence in cold weather environment.

The centre is a Norwegian-sponsored organisation that provides NATO with a tool to enhance interoperability in the area of operating in a cold weather climate.

The centres of excellence (COE) are not in the C2 of the NATO Command structure, but HQ SACT's Transformation Network Branch is responsible for providing the Centre with the annual Request for Support on behalf of NATO.

NATO Staff Officers Winter Course

The course aims at giving brigade- and battalion staff personnel the knowledge and skills needed for planning and commanding cold weather operations.

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Our courses and educations

Through our courses and seminars we offer specialised training and education for operating in cold weather.

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Handbook, lectures and templates

Cold Weather Operation manuals, handbooks, templates and master lectures produced by COE CWO.

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Allied soldiers at winter course training in Norway

Cold Weather Operations Conference 2021

Cold weather warfighting capability for the future.

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Cold Weather injuries and their prevention.

Cold Weather injuries are a common term for all injuries that occur in cold weather. Most such injuries can be prevented.

  1. Listed below are documents based on reseach carried out by the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment.

    The Concept development and Experimentation branch (CD&E) explores solutions or alternatives to current limitations and future opportunities based on lesson learned and best practices in the field of cold weather operations.

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​Examination of Camping Stoves

    In this report (released September 2010) by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, four different commercially available camping stoves were examined for carbon monoxide emissions.​

    Carbon monoxide emissions from camping stoves (PDF)

    Optimising War Performance

    The document "Cold Extreme Environmental Operations" – Optimizing Warfighter Performance in Extreme Cold" is a summary of a workshop held October 2014 at Norwegian Defence Research Establishment.

    Cold extreme environmental operations (PDF)

    Effect of Carbohydrate and Protein Supplementation

    This is a description of an ongoing study that aims to determine whether supplemental food products rich in protein or carbohydrate spares muscle mass and improves recovery during winter training.​

    Effect of carbohydrate and protein supplementation (PPTX)

    Effects of Winter Military Training

    This study examined Norwegian soldiers participating in a physically demanding winter training program to evaluate whether short-term military training alters energy and whole-body protein balance, muscle damage, soreness, and performance.​

    Effects of winter military training on energy balance (PDF)

    Monitoring Physiological Parameters During a Military Ski March

    Norwegian Defence Research Establishment have carried out a field trial during a ski march in Norway. Physiological parameters were monitored on soldiers in two different teams. One team was carrying backpacks, and the other team was carrying their equipment in pulks (a Nordic type of sled).​

    Monitoring physiological parameters during a military ski march (PDF)

    Multiple stress during soldier training affect the core and skin temperature

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of continuous military operations on soldier’s core temperature and alterations in the set-point, and to evaluate the effect of additional nutrition.

    Multiple stress during soldier training affect the core and skin temperature (PDF)

  2. The COE CWO provides an active support to respective NATO bodies in order to facilitate standardisation and achieve the required level of interoperability.

    ​The COE CWO is a NATO subsidiary body contributing to development, revision and update of allied concept, doctrine and standardisation publications through leverage of its expertise in the area of Cold Weather Operations.

    The COE CWO provides an active support to respective NATO bodies in order to facilitate standardisation and achieve the required level of interoperability.

    Standards and Doctrine development (S&D Dev) are to explore current practices and then suggest improvements to existing doctrines, procedures and standards as and when appropriate, for subsequent endorsement by the strategic commands and/or NATO HQ.

    In this role, our Standards & Doctrine Development branch serves as a tool which analyses existing publications, seeks for incoherence and, when appropriate, provides proposals according to the NATO standardisation process.

  3. Through our training and testing we get valuable knowledge and experience. And we share this with our partners.

    ​Lesson learned and Analysis (LL&A) collects observations in the field of cold weather operations based on experiences from courses, events, exercises or operations, conducts analysis and then transfers these into Lesson Identified.

    LL is also responsible for sharing Lesson Identified, thus contributing to improved capability or increased performance among NATO and partner nations as well as improving quality standards with recommendations aimed to correct diagnosed problems or to promote identified Best Practice.

  4. The Education and Training branch (E&T) provides support and offers specialised training and education in order to enhance the general knowledge and to increase combat effectiveness while operating in an arctic or cold weather environment.

    E&T is prepared to accommodate a variety of requirements – from individual to unit level as certification, courses and seminars using the knowledge of all branches in the Norwegian Armed Forces as well as from allied and partner nations.

Centre of Excellence Cold Weather Operations

COE-CWO, Terningmoen P. O. Box 393, N-2403 Elverum, Norway
Hamarveien 110, Terningmoen Camp, N-2403 Elverum, Norway

Main: [email protected]
H: [email protected]
NS: [email protected]

Postal address
COE-CWO, Terningmoen P. O. Box 393, N-2403 Elverum, Norway

Street address
Hamarveien 110, Terningmoen Camp, N-2403 Elverum, Norway