NORAD started this tradition many years ago,of tracking Santa for kids,(big kids too) ,,,,,and in a World that has gone mad for political correctness,it's nice to see some tradtions of ours still going,..............that being said Merry Christmas to all of you readig this ,from Verdun Connections,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Les_F HF&RV
Christmas Eve: A Special Mission for New York Air National Guardsmen
Rome-Based Unit Tracks Santa Again
ROME, NY (12/21/2009)(readMedia)-- Once again this Christmas Eve, members of the New York Air National Guard will play a key roll as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks the progress of Santa Claus around the world.
The air defense controllers at the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) here will employ radar to track Santa Claus over the eastern U.S. during his Christmas Eve journey across the nation. EADS personnel will work diligently through the night on Christmas Eve to maintain ongoing contact with Santa as he continues his travels across the states.
EADS is responsible for controlling the air defense system over the eastern United States.
"This is quite possibly our favorite "VIP" that we track," said the unit's Deputy Commander for Operations, Col. Wade Dewey. "The men and women of the Eastern Air Defense Sector take great pride in being on duty Christmas Eve, monitoring the skies as Santa journeys across the east coast."
To ensure Santa is safe and on schedule, the Air National Guard will ensure that their alert fighter aircraft, controlled by EADS, are prepared to fly and help Santa at a moment's notice, if needed. And in case of poor flying weather, EADS will provide jolly Saint Nick navigation and guidance.
Families can watch Santa's progress around the World Dec. 24 by signing onto the NORAD Tracks Santa Website at www.noradsanta.org.
The NORAD Tracks Santa program is primarily a volunteer program. Each year at EADS, Tech. Sgt. Deborah Martin, EADS Alpha Flight member, is one of thousands of volunteers to help support the program through volunteering.
"I have worked forever on Christmas Eve since I've been here and it has been a big adjustment for my family," she said. "It's funny though ... my kids are grown up, but my one niece and nephew really got excited to learn that the reason I can't celebrate Christmas Eve with the family anymore is that I'm helping Santa make his journey to all the children who are expecting him. I have people believing that there's a transponder in Rudolph's nose -that's why it's red!"
Although it is difficult for Sergeant Martin to be away from her family on Christmas Eve, she makes the best of it for her fellow crewmembers on Alpha flight.
"I get this warm fuzzy every year," she said. "I always stop off at this coffee shop on the way to work on Christmas Eve and they treat me to a coffee and doughnut."
The NORAD tracks Santa program began on Dec. 24, 1955, after an errant phone call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The call was from a local youngster who dialed a misprinted telephone number in a local newspaper advertisement that invited kids to call in and talk to Santa.
Instead he got the commander at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado. The Air Force officer who answered the phone that night gave the youngster the information requested - the whereabouts of Santa Claus.
This began the tradition of tracking Santa Claus, a tradition that was carried on by NORAD when it was formed in 1958.
The current Santa Tracking System employs the Google Earth program that provides an update of Santa's location at all times. It is frequently televised on local and national news networks as well as the Weather Channel cable network.
NORAD is a joint Canadian/American command that works year around to meet today's challenges in defending North America, and as a part of NORAD, EADS personnel, which also includes Canadian Forces members, are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide air defense over the east coast of the U.S.