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

  • Brexit campaign group Vote Leave referred to police for breaching spending rules

    World News CBC News
    Britain's Electoral Commission said on Tuesday it had fined the officially designated pro-Brexit campaign group 61,000 pounds ($106,065 Cdn) for breaching spending rules in the 2016 referendum and referred it to the police. Two years since voting 51.9-48.1 to leave the EU, the United Kingdom, the political elite and business remain deeply divided over whether the country should leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, and if so how. Source
  • 1 in 6 Canadians struggling with finances, Angus Reid survey finds

    Canada News CBC News
    More than a quarter of Canadians are already facing serious financial hardship, according to the findings of a new study released Tuesday as part of an examination of poverty. According to the report from the Angus Reid Institute, 21 per cent of respondents said they can't afford to go for dental care, while one quarter reported they have recently had to borrow money to buy groceries. Source
  • Second World War bomber touches down on Canadian soil

    Canada News CTV News
    It was a landing most people have only seen in old war movies. A massive B-29 bomber, nicknamed Fifi, touched down on Canadian soil this week as part of a mission to keep history alive. Source
  • Tesla shares fall after Musk's spat with British diver

    World News CBC News
    Shares of Tesla Inc fell 2.75 per cent on Monday after CEO Elon Musk directed abuse on Twitter at one of the British cave divers involved in the rescue of 12 Thai children last week. A number of analysts and investors, requesting anonymity, told Reuters that Musk's comments are adding to their concerns that his public statements are distracting him from Tesla's main business of producing electric cars. Source
  • No prison time for day care owner who put toddler in noose

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minneapolis day care owner was sentenced Monday to 10 years of probation for trying to kill a toddler in her home by hanging him from a noose. Nataliia Karia, 43, received her punishment in Hennepin County court after pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree assault earlier. Source
  • Alberta town divided over program to kill feral rabbits at $300 a pop

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta town remains divided over a controversial program to kill feral rabbits at a cost of nearly $300 per bunny. Ten years ago, the Town of Canmore had an estimated 2,000 feral rabbits. Source
  • Alberta town divided over program to kill feral rabbits at cost of $300 per bunny

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta town remains divided over a controversial program to kill feral rabbits at a cost of nearly $300 per bunny. Ten years ago, the Town of Canmore had an estimated 2,000 feral rabbits. Source
  • Families bury the dead after bloody weekend in Nicaragua

    World News CTV News
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Families began burying the dead Monday following a bloody weekend in Nicaragua as police and paramilitary groups attacked roadblocks set up by anti-government demonstrators demanding President Daniel Ortega's exit from office. The family and friends of 20-year-old university student Gerald Vasquez, one of two students killed Saturday when pro-government groups attacked the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, carried his casket to a Managua cemetery, chanting "They…
  • Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent molten rock crashing through the roof of a sightseeing boat off Hawaii's Big Island, injuring 23 people Monday, officials said. A woman in her 20s was in serious condition with a broken thigh bone, the Hawaii County Fire Department said. Source
  • Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking the government to court over six arrests made last month. The people were taken into custody June 18 when Regina police enforced an eviction order. Source