NORAD prepares to track Santa's fabled sleigh ride with hundreds of volunteers

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Peterson Air Force base is getting ready for its annual holiday mission -- tracking Santa's storybook sleigh ride around the world.

See Full Article

The North American Aerospace Defence Command has been working for weeks to tackle the one-day mission.

Miles of wire, dozens of computers and 157 telephone lines will greet hundreds of volunteers Thursday, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reported. Volunteers will be answering calls from an estimated 125,000 children around the globe looking for Santa's whereabouts.

"We keep adding stuff every year," said Staff Sgt. Kyle Kelly after he and a team of airmen taped down phone wires in the call centre Monday.

The call centre in a training building will be staffed for 23 hours and Christmas Eve. Volunteers will also share Santa's location on Facebook and Twitter. Last year, Santa got 1.6 million Facebook likes.

"We start in November," Kelly said. "We have to test every phone before we bring it in here."

NORAD's 60th year of tracking Santa involves more than the military. The program is underwritten by contractors who pay for the phones, the computers and the website.

First lady Michelle Obama is expected to volunteer, with calls forwarded to her on Christmas Eve.

Volunteers will field a growing number of calls from curious kids from outside the United States.

"We get a lot of calls from Europe, Australia and New Zealand," said NORAD's Stacey Knott, who has organized the Santa tracking for three years.

Bilingual volunteers handle the foreign-language inquiries.

On the bilingual front, NORAD, a partnership between the U.S. and Canada, has a distinct advantage.

"The great thing about having Canadian forces here is they can speak in French," Canadian Maj. Jennifer Stadnyk said.

NORAD is responsible for defending the skies and monitoring the sea approaches for both nations.

Its control room was originally inside Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs in a shelter designed to withstand a nuclear attack. The control room is now at Peterson Air Force Base, also in Colorado Springs.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Soldliers flow into besieged Philippine city in effort to restore control

    World News CTV News
    MARAWI, Philippines -- Army tanks packed with soldiers have rolled into a southern Philippine city to try to restore control after militants linked to Islamic State group launched a violent siege. Thousands of civilians have been fleeing the city of some 200,000 people. Source
  • Police make 2 more arrests over Manchester bombing

    World News CBC News
    Police have arrested two more people and are searching a new site in Manchester, U.K., suspected of links to the bombing that killed 22 people at a pop concert. Greater Manchester Police say two men were arrested overnight in Manchester and in the Withington area in the south of the city. Source
  • Firefighters fighting 6 alarm blaze at Toronto recycling facility

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Firefighters were battling a large blaze at a recycling facility near Toronto's waterfront early Thursday. There was no word of any injuries in the six-alarm blaze (at Cherry St. and Commissioners St. Source
  • Firefighters battling large blaze at Toronto recycling facility

    Canada News CBC News
    Firefighters were battling a large blaze at a recycling facility near Toronto's waterfront early Thursday. There was no word of any injuries in the six-alarm blaze at Cherry Street and Commissioners Street. GFL fire in Toronto now a 5 Alarm blaze. Source
  • Soldiers roll into Philippine city besieged by ISIS-linked militants

    World News CBC News
    Army tanks packed with soldiers rolled into a southern Philippine city Thursday as gunfire and explosions rang out after militants linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group torched buildings, seized more than a dozen Catholic hostages and raised their black flag. Source
  • Trump set to meet with concerned NATO, EU leaders

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS - Visiting a city he once called a "hellhole" to meet with the leaders of an alliance he threatened to abandon, U.S. President Donald Trump will be in the heart of Europe on Thursday to address a continent still reeling from his election and anxious about his support. Source
  • Reporter alleges Montana Republican hopeful body-slammed him

    World News CTV News
    BOZEMAN, Mont. - Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Greg Gianforte was in a private office preparing for an interview with Fox News when Guardian newspaper reporter Ben Jacobs came in without permission, campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon said. Source
  • Montana Republican candidate charged with misdemeanour assault of reporter

    World News CTV News
    BOZEMAN, Mont. - Thursday's nationally-watched election for Montana's sole congressional seat got a last-minute twist when the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte, was charged with misdemeanour assault for grabbing a reporter by the neck and throwing him to the ground. Source
  • UBC student blinded by domestic attack graduates law school

    Canada News CBC News
    As Rumana Monzur was guided to the podium to give a speech to fellow law graduates at the University of British Columbia, a hush fell over the crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered at the Chan Shun Concert Hall. Source
  • Mentally ill dad who killed 3 kids struggles with anger management: psychiatrist

    Canada News CTV News
    COQUITLAM, B.C. - A man found not criminally responsible for killing his three children because of a mental disorder is making slow progress but still faces serious anger issues, a psychiatrist says. Dr. Marcel Hediger told a British Columbia Review Board hearing Wednesday that it's unlikely he would recommend Allan Schoenborn be granted supervised outings into the community within the next year, saying he would first need to see a sustained period of at least six months of healthy anger…