NORAD tracks Saint Nick around the world

Stripes Okinawa

It’s that time of the year and Santa Clause is busy getting ready to see all the children who have been good this year. Santa knows where those children are even if you and your family are stationed on faraway bases in the Pacific.

The North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command’s Tracks Santa, a joint project between the United States and Canada, keeps an eye on Santa’s movements during this special time of year with the latest technology as he travels the globe every Christmas Eve.

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command have tracked Santa’s flight.

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., NORAD brings military capability to the task, including infrared tracking satellites, land-based radar, as well as radar on ships and aircraft. NORAD personnel can spot anything that flies, whether it is man-made or magical, like a bearded jolly man with flying reindeer.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Col. 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.

Currently, NORAD website is open to everyone for tracking the Santa. The Web site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese. It includes games, music, videos and lots of information about Santa Clause and NORAD.

The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center goes online at 2:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Dec. 24 with live minute-by-minute updates on Santa’s progress. A hotline is also available during the 24-hour tracking period on Dec. 24. You can also start tracking any time on Dec. 24 with Amazon Alexa through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar members can push the blue OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa. You can request updates via email on that day to ask about Santa’s travel. There will be more than a thousand volunteers on hand to answer phones and reply to emails. So, you better not cry, you better not pout – Santa Clause is coming to town!

Learn more about tracking Santa at: www.noradsanta.org

For updates on Santa’s whereabouts starting at 6 a.m. (EST) on Dec. 24, call the hotline at: 1-877-HI-NORAD or email:
noradtrackssanta@outlook.com

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