NORAD Keeping an Eye on Santa’s Progress
(click on the map above to track Santa – links courtesy NORAD)
Once again, NORAD will be keeping an eye on the radar, tracking Santa’s progress as he makes his way around the world.
This is a special anniversary for the program. It was 60 years ago that NORAD first started this annual tracking event all because of a misprint in an ad. The ad misprinted the phone number for children to contact Santa, so instead of reaching the big man in the red suit, the phone number put little ones through to the operations ‘hotline’ of what was then the Continental Air Defense ( later NORAD).
The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.
( click on logo at right to reach NORAD Santa website)
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.
As of 3 am PST this morning, those who are tracking Santa, can speak with a live phone operator to find out where Santa is located by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to email@example.com . Any time on Dec. 24, Windows Phone users can ask Cortana for Santa’s location, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to find Santa.
Once Santa reaches Canadian airspace he will be escorted by pilots Captain Andrew Jakubaitis and Captain Pierre-David Boivin from 3 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, Que.
As Santa makes his way west, pilots Lieutenant-Colonel William Radiff from 4 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake Alberta and Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Bortnem of the U.S. Air Force will escort Santa and the reindeer.
“The men and women of the Canadian NORAD Region keep watchful eyes over North American airspace 24 hours a day, 7 days a week” says Major General David Wheeler, “It’s a great responsibility to ensure Santa’s safe passage around North America so that he can continue his journey of goodwill and cheer; and we’re honoured to celebrate 60 successful years of this gratifying mission.”
By visiting the NORAD site, little folks can visit the North Pole, play some games, and learn more about NORAD.