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WINTER CONTINGENCY refers to clear evidence that Covenant Forces know the location of, or are present at, a UNSC Colony. Events which may be classified WINTER CONTINGENCY include:

• Intercepted Covenant communications that refer to a UNSC Colony by name.
• Discovery of hard physical evidence of Covenant activity.
o Abandoned or discarded matériel.
o Residue and/or damage consistent with Directed Energy Weapon usage.
• Detection of multiple in-system Slipstream Space rupture events.
• Engaged in combat by Covenant forces.

This term is a report that has the highest precedence in the OPREP-Γ reporting structure. All other reporting terms such as GOOSE CHASE, SNAKE PIT, et al, while very important, should be considered secondary to this report.
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ref. UNSC DF Instruction EM-277, 03/10/2526