Operation Red Snow and the National Guard come to Mammoth Lakes

MLPD 3-23-10The U.S. Army National Guard planned to come to town in Mammoth Lakes on Wednesday for a multiple agency exercise they’re calling Operation Red Snow.  According to Mammoth Police, this operation will help many agencies work together in case of “terrorism or weapons of mass destruction.”  The National Guard 9th Civil Support Team will show up.  They specialize in response to incidents of weapons of mass destruction.  This unit conducts regular exercises.  Their presence in Mammoth does not point to any new threats or anticipated problems.  According to Mammoth’s Police Chief Dan Watson, it’s routine training.

Following is the complete press release from Mammoth Police.

“The Mammoth Lakes Police and Fire Departments, Mono County Health Department, and Mono County Sheriffs Department will be participating in Operation Red Snow, a joint exercise with the U.S. Army National Guard 9th Support Civil Support Team on Wednesday, February 15.  The local agencies participation will only be on Wednesday, but the National Guard will be conducting a multiple day exercise.  The purpose of the exercise is for the multiple agencies to work together in response to a scenario involving the possibility of  terrorism or weapons of mass destruction.

The exercise on Wednesday will take place in the area of Main Street and Minaret and the public should be aware that there will be the presence of public safety equipment and vehicles.”


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44 Responses to Operation Red Snow and the National Guard come to Mammoth Lakes

  1. Wayne Deja February 14, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Terrorism….and weapons of mass destruction?……preparing for a possible attack in Mono County….in Mammoth Lakes?….GOOD GRIEF!!.Someone has been watching too much FOX NEWS.

  2. Reality Bites February 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Wayne, Google: Normalcy Bias. That’s You.

    • Wayne Deja February 15, 2012 at 10:32 am #

      Reality Bias……I googled it…and to an extent,you are right…Now YOU should Google “Katrina”…and see how the Government handled that situation…different than a terrorist attack,but none the less a major catastrophe.Off topic?…maybe…but,none the less,an eye-opener for those that think the Government would get us all through anytype of major disaster.

      • Big AL February 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

        Perfect world eh?

  3. upthecreek February 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm #


    Look out Mammoth the terrorist boogy man is coming to get you
    NOW run for the hills and hide .

    Oh that’s right your already in the hills

    “Were here from the government and here to help”


  4. Sierra Lady February 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Make fun all you want, but when a REAL disaster strikes the Eastern Sierra, natural or made by man (our water supply could be a target for terrorism), those of us (CERT) who have trained with the local agencies will be better prepared to help others in need.

    Why don’t you consider starting a CERT program in Inyo County?

    B. Richter
    Mammoth Lakes CERT Historian

    • Ken Warner February 15, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Exactly SL — we have the potential for fast moving forest and range fires, major earthquakes, snowstorms and power outages that could leave Mammoth stranded for a week or more. Not to mention a plane crash or a lift failure at the mountain or a crazy guy with bad intentions.

      And then the idiots who say, “…it’ll never happen here…”

      But why expect rational thought from rubes sitting in their underwear eating Cheetos?

      • Rob February 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

        CERT members are brainwashed into thinking they need big brother to protect them.

        They can’t even activate themselves, big brother has to activate them.

        I do think they serve a purpose they’re just not all that.

        • Dan Watson February 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

          It’s evident you don’t know much about CERT. It’s a group of volunteers who are trained to assist local government during emergency situations. They don’t need “big brother” to protect them. Their role is to help protect the public. You’re right, though about them being activated by the Police Chief, Fire Chief, or Public Health Officer. When activated, they assist in many ways.

          Instead of criticizing a group you don’t know about, you should consider attending the next CERT training later this month. You might be surprised. You’ll learn how to better prepare yourself and neighbors to take care of yourselves following a major emergency.

          Anyone interested in learning more about CERT training should contact the Mammoth Lakes Police Department.

          • Wayne Deja February 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

            Chief Watson..Past my bedtime,but checked this story one more time,and wanted to comment and ask a couple questions.If the CERT program is intended to better prepare yourself and help neighbors during a major emergency,that seems to be a good thing.But if they have to be activated by authorities,what would their boundries be as far as Law enforcement? In my own town,I have witnessed minor emergencies where different agencies,other than Law Enforcement or the fire dept.tried to issue their “authority” and it only made the situation much more chaotic,and to be honest,kind of rubbed some people the wrong way.On a bigger scale,I look at 9/11,when the plane hit the first tower.When people were evacuating tower #2,the one that was not yet hit,they were told to go back into their offices,that they were in no danger…by people they thought were in “authority”.Would CERT be activated to assist those in need..the elderly,handicapped,or injured,etc.?..or would it be another agency with authority,such as Law Enforcement would have ?

          • Rob February 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

            If I know they need to be official activated, I already know more then most and more then you might think.

        • Big AL February 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

          Unbelievable .. oh wait yes it is .. sorry for the sarcasm .. sometimes you can’t help it when you read something like what you just posted Rob.

        • Dan Watson February 16, 2012 at 12:20 am #

          Good question, Wayne. Mammoth Lakes’ CERT program is modeled after CERT programs around the rest of the country. There are two reasons to attend CERT training. First is to receive basic disaster preparedness training that will help you be better prepared, and to help your family and neighbors take care of each other following a disaster. Those who attend CERT training are given the opportunity to become a member of the CERT team which is a structured organization that works with the Police and Fire Departments. A CERT trained person doesn’t need any authority to utilize their training at home, work, or in their neighborhood. They simply utilize their training as needed. The CERT team has a leadership structure. Craig Hansen is current President of Mammoth Lakes CERT. For the team to be formally activated to participate in a planned or unplanned event requires the authorization of the Police Chief, Fire Chief, or Public Health Officer. That doesn’t mean that individual members can’t use their training as an individual, but for the team to be formally activated and given assignments requires authorization.

          Hope that answers your question.

          • Wayne Deja February 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

            Chief Watson……Thanks for the explanation to my questions..But let me throw a scenario at you that maybe you can answer,as far as the CERT team goes,if they have authorization from Law Enforcement for a disaster…..Say Lone Pine is hit with a 7.9 earthquake,God forbid, while I am working in the Alabama Hills…I rush home to check on my house,and my spoiled little cocker spaniol.When I get there,my house is leveled..but want to start digging around to look for my dog,even though there is a smell of propane.I know,in such an instance,Law Enforcement can deny me from entering….and think the Fire Dept. can too.If a Cert team happened to be near,would they have anytype of authority to keep me out,with the threat of arrest if I were to enter,or could they try to phisically keep me from entering?

          • Dan Watson February 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

            No they wouldn’t have the authority to arrest you or keep you out, Wayne. An example of the type of assignment they would get in an event as you described would be to staff the outer perimeter to prevent traffic and people from entering the impacted area. They would be given that assignment by law enforcement or fire. If you or anyone else insisted on going through their barricade, they would not have the authority to physically stop or arrest you. But, they certainly have the ability to let law enforcement know and they could respond and take appropriate action.

          • Wayne Deja February 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

            Chief Dan Watson…..No button to reply to the last comment you made answering my latest question,so hope you catch it here….Thanks for the answers,and dialog,even though it wasn’t what I was hoping to hear as far as the purpose of the CERT team,once it would be activated by Law Enforcement…People I know accuse me of being better suited to be living in the “olden days”,maybe way back in the late 1800’s,when people would feel best suited to take care of themselves during catostrophic events…and do what they feel best for themselves and their loved ones.I know there would be a need for Law Enforcement and structure during a major emergency,but too much organization,setting up barricades,by civilian groups getting assignments from Law Enforcement, seems like it could lead to problems,as well as thinking their resources would be better suited to helping those injured,or in need more so than trying to enforce laws.

          • Dan Watson February 16, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

            I’m not sure I’ve done a good job of answering your question. CERT members don’t enforce laws. They are trained to perform duties that free up first responders to handle more critical duties that require their additional training and expertise. Besides staffing barricades, CERTmembers can do things like going house-to-house to inform residents of steps to be taken, direct traffic when signals are out, conduct searches for missing children, staff positions in the Emergency Operations Center, and a wide variety of other duties. They also receive first aid and CPR training which can be used anytime, regardless of the circumstances.

            I’ll repeat that there are CERT trained people and members of the CERT Team which is the organized group. CERT training is for anyone who wants to be better prepared. After attending the training, a student has the choice whether to become a member of the CERT Team.

          • Ken Warner February 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

            People should be informed and prepared to take care of themselves the best they can. That’s what CERT training (or Boy/Girl Scout) training does.

            But, thankfully, we live in a mostly benevolent society where we do back up one another in times of need. Many times, people who profess to be able to take care of themselves use all the conveniences that we provide for each other daily. Fresh potable water at the turn of the tap. Light and heat at the flick of a switch. Security when you shut your door knowing that Police, Fire and Medical help are a phone call away. All these things are provided by your neighbors — your government.

            People who decry organized help when needed as too much government should take a realistic look at how each of us is vulnerable to the smallest tragedies and be grateful there is always someone to turn to.

          • Big AL February 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm #


          • Big AL February 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

            You’re right Ken, I remember watching the events of 911 on TV that day, one thing that stood out in my mind, it gave me a sense of restoration in my faith in my fellow man.
            It was the scene of the dock area for one of the ferrys. There was a hand line of people from a refrigerator truck down to the ferry. They were loading ice to be taken across the river to help in the massive triage centers set up there.
            The people were all people who came to help in that time of need. They were all kinds of people, a cross section of the city’s society.
            All there standing next to each other handing off bag after bag of ice. Of all of the emotional images I saw that day, that was one that really stands out in my mind.
            I mean, NYC and it’s attitude, a city that seems to be full of people who don’t seem to care about anyone but themselves. I know that is not right, but that is what gets projected about that city.
            Here was the heart of the city, in time of need, doing what it could, to help.
            One of the things that makes us shine as people, as Americans,

    • Wayne Deja February 15, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Sierra Lady…..All of us in the Inyo and Mono Counties appreciate CERT,the local Fire Departments,Law Enforcement,first responders,etc.But let’s face it…if there were a major disaster in one of our areas,weather it be terrorism attack,earthquake,Long Valley coming to life again,or something else that would effect all of us in a major way,the best…and ONLY way we could survive and get through it would be our own common sense,and our own ability to survive.If anyone expects the Government to be the driving force to our survival in such an instance of sudden disaster,all they got to do is remember the Government blunders when Katrina hit New Orleans,or when 9/11 took place in New York….among other events.

      • Ken Warner February 15, 2012 at 10:42 am #

        “If anyone expects the Government to be the driving force to our survival in such an instance of sudden disaster,all they got to do is remember the Government blunders when Katrina hit New Orleans,or when 9/11 took place in New York….among other events.”

        Correction:”…remember the Bush Administration blunders

        • Wayne Deja February 15, 2012 at 11:17 am #

          5,000% correct!!!!!!!….but even with a REAL President now,I’d still be leary.

      • Reality Bites February 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

        I agree. Everyone should be prepared to be on their own (Food, Water, Shelter, Cooking Fuel, Heating) for a minimum of two weeks. The government will not be able to come to your rescue.

        Deal with the reality of living in a remote area or reality will deal with you.

        • Dan Watson February 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

          Regardless of where someone lives and the size of local government, everyone should be prepared to take care of themselves for a minimum of 3-5 days following a large disaster such as major earthquake. Two weeks as recommended by Reality Bites is even better. That’s because local first responders will be overwhelmed and, depending on the size of the effected area, mutual aid may take several days. Food, water, medicine, etc should all be stored and communication plans should be developed. More information on this can be obtained from the CERT training or a variety of websites on disaster preparedness.

        • Big AL February 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

          We have to know .. that it will be a while for supplies etc .. will be in order right after some substantial disaster or event.
          Not just as some … point fingers at the Government, even at best, the gov. will take a while to kick things in, people expect them, to be there yesterday, so they don’t disrupt their lives in any way.
          Things take time, to get supplies in etc ..
          And anything you can do to be prepared ahead of time for things like this, rather it be training for it .. practicing, stocking up non perishables etc .. well where’s the folly in that?
          Where’s the folly, the folly is in the nay Sayers and people who think something can’t happen, if there’s one thing in life, you can be sure about besides dying .. it is that “You never know!”

    • Rob February 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      (our water supply could be a target for terrorism)

      seriously you believe that? Crediblity goes out the window when people make rediculous comments like this.

      So how does it feel to propagate I completely unfounded fear?

      • Benett Kessler February 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

        It’s not unfounded, according to LADWP. They said they closed off Haiwee reservoir because it is at the end of the system here before heading to LA for security reasons. LA does have concerns about its aqueduct being a target.
        Benett Kessler

        • Rob February 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

          Benette – they might have concerns but their effort is a knee jerk.

          You can’t close off a reservoir if someone has there mind set on getting access to it.

      • Benett Kessler February 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

        LA closed off Haiwee Reservoir as a terrorism protection and has expressed concerns about the vulnerability of the aqueduct system.
        Benett Kessler

        • Wayne Deja February 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

          Benett…Haiwee Reservoir is closed to the public….but not closed to fishing,depending who you are…and who you work for.

  5. Rob February 15, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    The only weapons of mass destruction in Mono County is the TOML city council

  6. Ex-Resident February 15, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    In order for someone to deposit the amount of substance necessary to poisen the water supply, one would have to dump truck load after truck load of material into it. How could that go un-noticed? Just another huge waste of time and money by a government who keeps it’s citizens in fear 24/7. Who are the real terrorists here? Besides, do you really care that much about LA residents?

    • Rob February 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      hec, a handful of quagga mussels in the aquaduct could be considered a terrorist act,

      but yes the real money is in keeping the citizens living in fear 24/7.

  7. Wilderbeast February 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Wait a minute….LADWP has determined that there is a very real danger of water quality being sabotaged. They closed Haiwee reservoir to any public access claiming there was a terrorist danger of accessing the water going to LA and contaminating it. This also happened right after they were ordered to rewater the lower Owens. They never explained how having the rest of the Owens River and canals open to public access prevented terrorists from accessing the water.

    • Rob February 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      There are remote places the aquaduct is open, accessable and so remote nobody would even notice any activity. The Dove Springs area comes to mind.

      I’m not sure they’re concerned with water quality or something happening that would prevent them from sending water South. Without the dams to store the water in the event the aquaduct was damaged it would just run onto the lake bed.

  8. Sierra Lady February 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Thanks Ken W. – at least you get it!

    Rob, CERT members are brainwashed…really? I’m so tired of reading all this negative crap about what the government does or doesn’t do. Whether we are activated by local agencies or not, we are still going to know how to conduct ourselves in an emergency in order to help ourselves and our neighbors due to our FREE CERT training which we chose to participate of our own free will.

    My husband and I joined CERT to learn more (he was an Eagle Scout and is a retired forester and I was a Girl Scout, so we have always been in the “be prepared” mode) about how to be better prepared in the case of a disaster or local emergency. We have learned so much from our FREE training in the CERT program about how woefully under-prepared we were at home and how much better prepared we are now due to that FREE training. We are trained by the Red Cross (FREE through CERT) in CPR/AED use. One of our main objectives besides making sure ourselves and our home are as safe as can be is to be able to help neighbors and members of our community if need be.

    Are you as prepared? For your sake, I sure hope so.

    B. Richter
    Proud to be M.L. CERT Historian since 2008

    • Big AL February 16, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      Right on Sierra Lady, I’m glad we have people who will help, that is the biggest thing “help in time of need”. Where the rubber meets the road.

    • Ken Warner February 16, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      We are the government. The government is us. When people say the government is out to do us harm — they are saying their neighbors are out to do them harm. That’s not right.

      If you are trained — and I’m not except for previous and long forgotten lifeguard skills — you know how to work together, if necessary, with outside agencies who may have to be activated to help your neighborhood.

      In such a situation, standing on the sidelines and shouting insults won’t help anybody.

    • Rob February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

      I recommend a wilderness first responder course to add to your list of emergency training. You should probably get that amateur radio license while you’re at it.

  9. JJ February 16, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Maybe the National Guard can protect our water from DWP while they are here :)——-

    • Reality Bites February 16, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

      Good point JJ. A JDAM on the aquaduct would be a good start.

  10. M. Hansen February 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Sierra Lady – It isn’t WAS an Eagle Scout – once you have obtained “Eagle Scout” you are always an Eagle Scout – My husband always reminds me of this! I would much rather be prepared in case of an emergency than expect someone else (who isn’t) to help me or my family. I think if everyone, or most everyone, in Mono and Inyo County were prepared and trained in case of a major disaster, we would be able to sustain ourselves. Do you expect Vons to have enough food and supplies for everyone in Mammoth if their trucks stop coming into town. We could be a day away from a major earthquake, only God knows.

    • Sierra Lady February 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

      Oh of course! Thanks M. Hansen for that reminder.

      People freak out when Vons runs out of bread, milk and eggs during the busy holiday times. Can you imagine if a disaster struck during our peak times, too? Food for thought so to speak!


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