NORAD Tracks Santa is kicked off December 1, with a variety of tools, and a fun interactive website, a Santa Cam, and call centre that will be operating around the clock on December 24.
The North American Aerospace Defence Command is celebrating its 60th anniversary of defending the homeland along with its tradition of tracking Santa’s journey around the globe on Christmas Eve.
“In addition to our day-to-day mission of defending North America, we are proud to carry on the tradition of tracking Santa as he travels along his yuletide flight,” said Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander NORAD and U.S. Northern Command. “The same radars, satellites, and interceptors employed on December 24 are used year-round to protect Canada and the United States.”
NORAD is a binational U.S. and Canadian Command charged with aerospace and maritime warning and aerospace control of North America as well as monitoring aerospace activity globally.
NORAD is on alert around the clock, every day. NORAD aircraft have identified and intercepted aircraft in the execution of NORAD’s North American air sovereignty and air defense missions. But, during the holidays, NORAD assumes the mission of tracking Santa as he makes stops around the globe.
This annual tradition, now in its 63rd year, started in 1955 when a local ad directed children to call Santa, but instead, the number was misprinted, and the children rang through to the crew commander on duty at the Continental Air Defence Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD.
Over 1,400 volunteers are expected to join NORAD on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs to help track Santa’s journey.
Public signups to work in the NORAD Tracks Santa operations centre and receive calls from children around the world are currently ongoing. Anyone interested in volunteering to take calls must be older than 15 years of age and be able to travel to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Dec. 24. Interested individuals can sign up until Dec. 12. Click here for more information.
To follow Santa, and to countdown to Christmas visit NORAD’s website here starting December 1.