Christmas is almost here and for some, tracking Santa is a Christmas Eve tradition.
At Tyndall Air Force Base they help out with the NORAD Tracker that makes tracking Santa possible. They help make sure Santa makes it safely to each and every house.
For over 60 years now NORAD or the North American Aerospace Defense Command has been tracking Santa through satellites placed across the world.
They use this satellite system on a daily basis to focus on homeland air defense but on December 24th they begin tracking the big man in red.
“On one special day every year, the 24th, we’ll start tracking Santa. What happens is as Santa leaves the North Pole we’ll pick him up on our radar along with the North warning system, which is in Alaska and Northern Canada. That gives us the indication that he’s left the North Pole,” said Colonel Sid Connor.
Their satellite network is where they watch air traffic and anything that travels through the air, that way they can make sure to keep the homeland safe.
“We use that same system to track Santa as he goes. It just so happens that Rudolph’s red nose puts off a heat signature that we’ve learned how to track really well. So that helps us a lot in keeping him tracked even in bad weather,” said Colonel Connor.
The most important message of all though, is that Christmas is a time for family.
“The more Christmas spirit that they have then the nicer the holiday season that we have. And Santa is not always about gifts but also doing nice things for others,” said Sargeant Martha Dunning.
This is something AOC staff look forward to each and every year.
“We look forward to this all year long. So normally what we do is we make sure that the air space is safe in order for all of us to fly safely all around the world and especially the USA. This time of year we get prepped up and excited and we want to make sure Santa makes it safe to all the homes of the good little boys and girls,” said Sargeant Dunning.
“One important message for the kids though is they do need to be asleep before Santa can visit their house. So as they’re tracking Santa and they see him getting closer, then it’s time to go to sleep to make sure Santa can visit their house,” said Colonel Connor.
The link to track Santa on Christmas Eve is