Track Santa Claus With Santa Tracker Thanks To A Classic NORAD Tradition

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It is Christmas Eve, and around the world, children are anxiously awaiting Santa to arrive. At the time of writing, it would appear that Santa is over Jakarta, Indonesia, and has delivered some 1.5 billion gifts and counting. The only way we know that, though, is from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracking the jolly bogey led by a reindeer with a shiny red nose as he makes his way around the globe.

Every year around this time, 70 volunteers set up the Santa tracking website, phone lines, and apps on behalf of NORAD, while 500 uniformed personnel volunteer their time to help answer children’s questions about Santa’s whereabouts. This tradition of tracking Santa has been happening since 1955, which started when the people at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center were working a normal night shift until they received a curious phone call. A young boy had “followed the directions in a department store's newspaper advertisement that told children how to call Santa — except the number had been printed incorrectly and instead called the operations center,” according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Air Force Col. Harry Shoup subsequently took the boy’s call as well as the rest of the calls that came in that night asking about Santa due to the same misprint, thereby kicking off the tradition. That tradition has also expanded to include a number of fighter jets, including U.S Air Force F-15s, F-16s, F-22s, and Canadian Air Force CF-18s, which intercept and escort Santa off the coast of Newfoundland through North American airspace until he gets back to the North Pole. OF course, this is also on top of the North Warning System consisting of 47 installations across Alaska and Canada which also spots and tracks Santa as he makes his journey.

In any event, if you want to setup your own Santa Operations Center and track him yourself, you can use the NORADSanta website which has a 3D render of Santa as he flies around the world. Hopefully he brings what you wanted this year, and beyond that, we at HotHardware hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2024.
Tags:  Christmas, Santa, NORAD