COLORADO SPRINGS — If you want to see every move of Santa's flight around the world Friday night, NORAD has you covered. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is based in Colorado Springs and typically tracks everything that flies in and around the U.S. and Canada, but on December 24th they have a very special mission: tracking Santa and making sure he doesn't get lost.
Children's author Michael Keane wrote a book about the night Santa disappeared. It's called The Night Santa Got Lost; How NORAD Saved Christmas. Keane takes readers through one of NORAD's most challenging nights--the night Santa got lost. The book describes how NORAD staff watched Santa disappear from radar. It shows how all branches of the military step in to find Santa and help get his gifts delivered on time.
Follow Santa on his route: https://www.noradsanta.org/en/map
"Teamwork is a big part of this," said Keane. "If you look at Santa and the military there are some similarities between those traditions. Santa wears a uniform and he's very mission-oriented. To get that mission done is a very military mantra or theme."
But should Santa get lost again, NORAD's deputy commander, Lieutenant General Alain Pelletier, says fighter pilots will be ready to help.
"I'm a CF-18 pilot myself," said Pelletier. "It's a very fast aircraft so Santa needs to slow down in order to actually enable to fighters to come on his wing."
And on this Christmas Eve, as they have on every Christmas Eve for the last 66 years, NORAD will be tracking Santa's every move and taking calls from children and families who want to know where Santa is headed next.
"I've talked and connected with grandparents and loved it because they were carrying the message for their grandkids," said Pelletier. "I remember a call where the entire family was on speaker and you could see the spirit of Christmas alive through their call."
It's a critical mission Lieutenant General Pelletier and his team are ready to take on.
There are all sorts of ways you can track Santa's journey along with NORAD. You can call 1-877-HI-NORAD or click here for more information. https://www.noradsanta.org/en/