NATO Cold Weather Survival Instructor Course

Between 15th and 26th of November the first NATO Cold Weather Survival Instructor Course was arranged by COE-CWO at camp Terningmoen and in the area of Øversjødalen

The purpose with the course was;

“to give students basic knowledge in survival techniques during a long-term survival situation situated at enemy occupied territories in cold weather climate and various terrain, to include areas above the tree line”

The course is an answer to the raising demands of survival skills and bush crafting in the high north from allied nations.

The course had 18 students from USA, France, Italy, Canada, Estonia and Norway. The head instructors was from the SERE section at COE-CWO, with good help from several recce units from the whole Norwegian Defence. The students learned how to survive in harsh Nordic weather, including wind at 25 m/s combined with freezing temperatures in mountainous terrain, without luxury equipment as sleeping bags and tents. 

After a short theoretical introduction, the students was put in a survival setting for 7 days with limited resources and food. To gather food they were taught hunting, trapping, fishing, slaughtering, collecting of- and preparing eatable plants. They were also taught how to make fires in the forest and above the treeline, establishing single shelters with survival sheets/ponchos and long term bivouacs for small teams. The main focus during the whole course was to maintain combat readiness as long as possible with a limited amount of equipment where normal supply lines are cut off. 

The course reached its goal and purpose as the students was still combat ready at the end, even after experiencing situations that before the course would be deadly for most of them.