NORAD Tracks Santa program kicks off for 2019

The North American Aerospace Defense Command is standing ready to continue its tradition of tracking Santa’s journey around the globe on December 24th, 2019.

As a bi-national US and Canadian command, NORAD’s top priority is the defense of Canada and the United States’ homeland. The organization is charged with aerospace and maritime warning and aerospace control of North America, as well as monitoring aerospace activity on a global scale.

However, throughout the holiday season each year, NORAD assumed the supplementary mission of tracking Santa Claus as he travels around the world.

Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command said, “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 path.”

He added, “The same radars, satellites, and interceptors employed on December 24 are used year-round to defend Canadian and American airspace from threats.”

In 1955, a local newspaper advertisement informed children that they could call Santa directly. However, the number was misprinted in the advertisement. Instead, people reached the crew commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. The crew commander, U.S. Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, was quick to realize the error that had been made and assured the child that he was Santa. A duty officer was then assigned to continue answering calls.

A tradition was formed, which continued when NORAD was founded in 1958. Every year, NORAD has reported Santa’s location on December 24th to millions of children and families.

Sunday, December 1st, 2019, marked the 64th iteration of NORAD Tracks Santa. The program began with the launch of the new website.

From December 24th, 2019, at 2:01 a.m. EST, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his journey. Santa Cams will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations.

At 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire about Santa’s location by dialling the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723), by sending an email to [email protected] or by following the official NORAD Tracks Santa social media channels.

Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa’s location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill, and OnStar members can push the blue OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa.

The NORAD Santa website includes a holiday countdown, games, activities, and information regarding NORAD’s mission of defending North America. Is it available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.

The NORAD Tracks Santa mission has become a global experience due to the efforts and services of numerous program contributors and volunteers. On December 24th, 2019, users may call 1-877-HiNORAD for an up-to-date location of Santa.

Public signups and volunteer opportunities for NORAD Tracks Santa operations centre are currently ongoing. Those 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, Colorado, on December 24th, 2019.

Sign up is available until Dec. 12 here.

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Ambar Syed

Born and raised in London, England, Ambar moved to Canada in 2017 after marrying her husband in the CAF. She has always loved writing and started her blog, Her Little Loves, in 2015 while studying for her B.A. (Hons) in English. Ambar is excited to write for CMFMAG and contribute towards the military family community.

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