Winnipeg, MB – NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955 when a young child telephoned a misprinted phone number from a department store advertisement in the local newspaper.
That phone number rang into the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center, NORAD’s predecessor, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. United States Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, the commander on duty that night, was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the child he was Santa. He then assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls.
The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center is operational beginning at 4 a.m. MST on December 24th. You can call 1 (877) HI-NORAD (1 (877) 446-6723) for information on Santa’s location. Callers who are unable to speak to a volunteer will receive regularly updated, recorded information on Santa’s location.
The countdown to December 24th has begun! As the big night approaches, the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) is happy to announce that we will be monitoring and escorting Santa as he completes his journey through Canadian airspace once again! The news was released earlier via a short video on Social Media.
The defence of Canada and the United States is NORAD’s top priority. NORAD is a bi-national American and Canadian command charged with aerospace and maritime warning and aerospace control of North America. However, every year during the holidays, NORAD assumes the supplementary mission of tracking Santa as he travels safely around the world.
Stay tuned because on Christmas Eve, a second video will be released as Santa enters the Canadian air space. Children from across the world will be able to watch and to see NORAD CF-18s joining up with Santa and his sleigh.
The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center is operational beginning at 4 a.m. MST on December 24. You can call 1 (877) HI-NORAD (1 (877) 446-6723) for information on Santa’s location. Callers who are unable to speak to a volunteer will receive regularly updated, recorded information on Santa’s location.
“NORAD defends North America by using complementary, multi-domain defence capabilities, including military aircraft, radars and satellites. These capabilities and assets also enable CANR to escort Santa safely through Canadian airspace on December 24th. I want to reassure all children and their parents that we will do everything we can to ensure Santa’s safe passage across Canada while he delivers joy and gifts,” says Major-General Iain Huddleston, Commander of the Canadian NORAD Region.
- The NORAD Tracks Santa website (www.noradsanta.org) is now live. Featuring Santa’s North Pole Village, the website includes a holiday countdown, games, activities, information regarding NORAD’s mission of defending North America, and more. The website supports, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese Spanish and Chinese languages. Tracking opportunities are also offered through social media on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
- Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are available in the Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can count down the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets! Follow Santa’s journey and share your story on Facebook using the hashtag #NORADTracksSanta.
- For over 67 years, NORAD aircraft have identified and intercepted aircraft in the execution of NORAD’s North American air sovereignty and air defence missions. NORAD is on alert around the clock, every day.
- Since 1955, fighter jets have escorted Santa every year. Today those NORAD jets include American F-15s, F-16s, F-22s and Canadian CF-18s. When the jets intercept Santa, it’s a friendly occasion; NORAD fighter pilots tip their wings to say, “Hello Santa! Welcome back and good to have you on our radar again!” Santa always waves. He loves to see and greet the pilots.