BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) –   For 365 days a year the North American Aerospace defense command or NORAD controls and protects aerospace by satellites but they do more than just that on Christmas Eve.

The military helps St. Nick deliver toys. Members at Tyndall AFB and NORAD help to track Santa.

“Kids in the world are informed on where Santa is,” said Santa himself at the Bay County Chamber’s First Friday event.

Children in 200 different countries have tracked the big man in red on Christmas Eve for decades. It all started with the miss-print of a phone number in a SEARS catalog. NORAD headquarters received numerous calls from children asking for Santa Claus. So now they spend one day a year assisting in tracking Santa.

“So we’ve got volunteers in Colorado Springs at NORAD headquarters to answer phone calls and they will answer phone calls that the children may have, and provide an update on where Santa is,” said Royal Canadian Air Force Major General Derek Joyce.

Joyce is based at Tyndall, he said it is NORAD’s responsibility to control the skies all of the time. But during Christmas, they like to help spread the spirit of holidays.

“Starting on Christmas Eve very early in the morning you are going to be able to call into 1877-HI-NORAD,” said Joyce.

Santa himself says he thanks NORAD and the military for the job they do.

“It really makes me feel good that the kids are trying to keep up with me and get an idea about when I am going to be at their house,” said Santa Claus.

The “Norad Santa tracks” website is officially up and running. You can find the NORAD Santa tracker online or you can call them at 1877-hi-NORAD.