Resources for operating at altitude

High altitudes can stress your system with low oxygen levels, higher breathing rates, and more. Learn what to expect during altitude changes and how to address the related challenges.

Altitude effects on the human body
The Army Public Health Center provides the latest information about how operating at altitude affects the human body. The website discusses how altitude reduces physical and psychological performance; the increased risk of dehydration; the effects of nutrition, tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine; and methods to acclimatize to altitude.

Altitude acclimatization and illness management [PDF]
Army bulletin TB MED 505 covers the myriad issues associated with ascending to and operating at high altitude. Issues include adapting to altitude; managing risk for illness; identifying and treating altitude illness; and limitations of physical, neurological, and mental performance at altitude.

Staying healthy at high elevations [PDF]
This guide addresses the threats associated with high-altitude operations and suggests protective measures. Topics include cold, sun-exposure, terrain, and carbon-monoxide injuries; altitude acclimatization and illnesses; dehydration and sleep disturbances; and the psychological effects of altitude exposure.

Nutritional needs in cold and high-altitude environments
This report from the Institute of Medicine addresses the nutritional factors that can influence how Military Service Members perform in cold and high-altitude environments.

Altitude acclimatization guide [PDF]
Topics in this guide from the Thermal & Mountain Medicine Division of USARIEM include hypoxia at high altitude, acclimatization assessment and monitoring, staging and slow-ascent profiles, and supportive interventions. Figures and tables include technical information not available elsewhere.

See also HPRC’s “Where do you serve?” section for your branch of service for additional policy and other branch-specific information. See our home page for links to each service branch.