The School was initially set up at Gulmarg, as a Formation Sickly School. The training imparted consisted mainly of skiing techniques, mountain lore and patrolling on skis. On 8 April 1962, the School was designated a Category A Training Establishment and renamed High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS).
The training instills confidence and stamina, besides defrosting the fear of the unknown. The men are taught to integrate with the environment so that they can guard the Himalayan frontiers effectively.