Monday, December 21, 2009

Tracking Santa

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

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.


Les F said...

Hey everyone ,want some good news for a change,........the days ,will start to get longer after today,Today the 21st of December 2009,.is the Shortest Day of the it all get s longer now........ HF&RV

Les F said...

HF&RV (& the real meaning of x-mas) lol

Sandy Walsh said...

Les - good news will be that my daughter finally lands somewhere after spending the last 24 hours trying to get home from guess where - Vancouver. I have had enough of this sh#% and I am stressed to the max. Bah f'ing humbug. I just want my family here safe and sound.

Les F said...

I just saw on tonights news,that a couple were stuck in Vancouver for about that long too,they were trying to get to Florida,but kept getting flights cancelled,& of course getting bumped from other flights due to that storm back east, least your daughters home. HF&RV

Sandy Walsh said...

she's not home Les - she's is still "in flight" - she missed her connection in Calgary because the flight landed late and they wouldn't let her run for her flight to Chicago because she had to go through customs. she's up there somewhere now trying to land in Toronto and will have to spend a night in a hotel and try to get out tomorrow - my son says "now you know why our family fled Canada in the 70's" - thank God he has a sense of humor - my kids are great. I am waiting here to hear from her that she landed okay.

Les F said...

Yes but the storm is in the eastern USA..........hahahahaha She'd be home by now if you never fled.
She'll be fine ,although clearing customs into the USofA can be slow at times,at least nowadays it seems to be..Travelling is not that much fun when you have all those delays....she'be a tired girl ,when she finally arrives,and you will be that much happier to see her...........(that's the glass half full side )

Les F said...

Flight disruptions in the United States also created delays for passengers trying to fly from Canada to the eastern U.S.
N.S., eastern U.S. digging out from storm
Last Updated: Monday, December 21, 2009 | 11:23 AM ET Comments92Recommend65CBC News
Crews work to clear snow from the tarmac at Logan International Airport, on Dec. 20, 2009, in Boston. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)Crews are out cleaning up after the large storm that battered the U.S. Eastern Seaboard passed through parts of Nova Scotia overnight.

Less snow fell in Nova Scotia through Sunday night and into Monday than had been expected, however.

Mark Pilon of Environment Canada's weather office said the system tracked south of the province and much of the expected snow dropped over the ocean.

In rural Shelburne County, about 25 centimetres of snow were reported to have fallen, while Shearwater received 14 cm and Halifax got about 10.

There were a few flights delays in Halifax, but no power outages were reported Monday morning.

The storm is the same one that paralyzed much of the eastern U.S. over the weekend. Six deaths were attributed to the storm.

Millions of U.S. commuters struggled to get to work on Monday, and hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren got the day off.

The School District of Philadelphia and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia cancelled classes for about 195,000 students. Public schools also shut down in Baltimore and Roanoke, Va., among other cities.

Airports in the northeast U.S. are gradually returning to normal operation. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration reported Monday that major airports on the East Coast had average flight delays of less than 15 minutes.

Over the weekend, cancellations and delays created long lineups of frustrated travellers who were forced to rebook their flights.

Adam Reker of Denver had flights cancelled Saturday and Sunday at New York's LaGuardia airport.

"Now they're trying to make me stay until Wednesday," he said. "It's a nightmare."

Flight disruptions in the United States also created delays for passengers trying to fly from Canada to the eastern U.S.

On another note ( a sad one at that) a man isn't going home this Christmas as a 53 year old man who was deicing a plane at the Calgary Airport today,fell to his death from the bucket lift he was working from. ...................HF&RV

Sandy Walsh said...

The people stuck under the English Channel for 17 hours has to be the most terrifying story of all of them. They said it was sheer panic under there. Terrible story.

My daughter ended up in a hotel in Toronto last night getting there at 11 p.m. and got back to New York at noon today. About 30 hours in transit.

Les F said...

I don't think I'd like sitting at the bottom of the Channel for that can imagine what goes through your mind ......

Long trip for your daughter ,but she arrived safely & that's what counts, you can have a Nice Family Christmas together ,,,,,,,,,Cheers HF&RV
ps: had to go to the airport 1st thing this morning,& pick up our son Shawn .flying in from Edmonton,for Christmas, .....when we arrived at the airport ,the monitor stated his flight was 'delayed'
it was about due at 8:37 am Victoria BC time, and arrived at 9 am........23 minutes late , I was worried I wouldn't get to finish my coffee in the observation

Sandy Walsh said...

I was thinking you were in the Vancouver airport Les - then I remembered that you are in Victoria. On the first "delay" of Holly's trip, she was stuck in the Vancouver airport for a few hours. She said it was beautiful and she spent the time checking out all the shops. I guess they have it all spruced up for the big O :)