|Established||11th December 1948|
The High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) is a training and research establishment of the Indian Army. In 1948, Indian Army established a ski school in Gulmarg which later became the High Altitude Warfare School of the Indian army specialising in snow–craft and winter warfare. It is located in an area which is prone to avalanches. It is one of the most famous warfare academies of the world. Selected soldiers from the US, UK, Germany and other countries visit regularly for specialist training.
The birth of High Altitude Warfare School(HAWS) of Indian Army in 1948 can be directly attributed to the loss of Gilgit-Baltistan in the Siege of Skardu to Pakistan in 1947-1948 Indo-Pak war. The school was established in December 1948 by General K S Thimayya, then holding the rank of Brigadier. It was initially known as the 19 Infantry Division Ski School. During the winter of 1949–50, the school was redesignated as a Command Establishment and renamed as the Winter Warfare School. On 8 April 1962, it was upgraded to a Category A Training Establishment and adopted its current name.
HAWS offers two training programmes, the Mountain Warfare course and the Winter Warfare course. The Mountain Warfare course is conducted in Sonamarg between May and October each year. The Winter Warfare course is conducted in Gulmarg between January and April. The two courses train personnel in High Altitude warfare, counter intelligence and survival skills. Ice-craft is taught at Machoi across Zojila. Army personnel deployed to the Siachen Glacier and to other high altitude forward posts on the Himalayan borders go through the courses.
HAWS is the nodal instructional facility for specialized training and dissemination of approved doctrines in mountain, high altitude and snow warfare. The training programs at HAWS are open to personnel of the armed forces of friendly countries.
HAWS also trains Indian Armed Forces personnel for winter sports such as snowboarding, alpine skiing and Nordic skiing. The school recently added facilities to allow the Indian Army ski time to train at night.
Discovery Channel created a documentary series detailing the military training program at HAWS. This documentary was part of a larger series on the Indian Armed Forces, titled "Veer by Discovery"
- List of mountain warfare forces
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- High Mountain Military School
- Mountain Leader Training Cadre
- Mountain Warfare Training Center
- Army Mountain Warfare School
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- Hatsavita Mountain Warfare Training Centre
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