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For articles of the same name, please see Winter Contingency (disambiguation).

"WINTER CONTINGENCY has been declared. All units are mobilized and ready."
— UNSC operator[1]

WINTER CONTINGENCY is an official United Nations Space Command emergency plan that deals with situations where Covenant forces have become aware of, or are present at, a human colony world. It was first mentioned in the UNSCDF Instruction EM-277 on March 10, 2526.[2] On Reach, WINTER CONTINGENCY was supplemented by the WINTER CONTINGENCY Declaration Supplemental Orders, a series of additional directives for ONI agents.[3]


Events which may be classified as WINTER CONTINGENCY include:

  • Intercepted Covenant communications that refer to a UNSC colony by name.
  • Discovery of hard physical evidence of Covenant activity.
  • Detection of multiple in-system slipstream space rupture events.
  • Engaged in combat by Covenant forces.


"As per the Winter Contingency, we are countering on every front."
Auntie Dot[4]

WINTER CONTINGENCY holds the highest precedence in the OPREP-Γ reporting structure. All other reporting terms such as GOOSE CHASE, SNAKE PIT, and others, while very important, are considered secondary to a WINTER CONTINGENCY report.

Non-canon and dubious canon appearances[edit]

Silver Timeline[edit]

After learning of the Covenant threat to Reach, Admiral Jacob Keyes wanted to initiate the WINTER CONTINGENCY and begin immediate civilian evacuations. However, James Ackerson revealed that they wouldn't be evacuating civilians or fighting, but rather abandoning Reach to its doom and transporting essential assets off of the planet.[5]

List of appearances[edit]