NORAD Santa Tracker 2019

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

Well, it’s pretty cool when you find out that you’re on the press distribution list from the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The NORAD Santa Tracker has been launched for 2019 and it will officially start tracking the jolly elf’s movements on December 24th.

NORAD Santa Tracker
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, CO, UNITED STATES. Photo by Staff Sgt. Alexandra Longfellow

“In addition to our day-to-day mission of defending North America, we are proud to carry on the tradition of tracking Santa as he travels along his yuletide flight path,” said Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command. “The same radars, satellites and interceptors employed on December 24 are used year-round to defend Canadian and American airspace from threats.”

The defense of Canada and the United States is NORAD’s top priority. NORAD is a binational U.S. and Canadian command charged with aerospace and maritime warning and aerospace control of North America as well as monitoring aerospace activity globally. However, every year during the holidays, NORAD assumes the supplementary mission of tracking Santa as he travels around the world. 

It all started in 1955 when a local newspaper advertisement informed children they could call Santa directly – only the contact number in the advertisement was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty, U.S. Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD.  Col. Shoup was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the child he was Santa. Shoup then assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls.  Thus, a tradition was born, and continued when NORAD was formed in 1958. Each year since, NORAD has reported Santa’s location on December 24th to millions of children and families.

NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families everywhere. This is due, in large part, to the efforts and services of numerous program contributors and volunteers.

On December 24th, users may call 1-877-HiNORAD for Santa’s up-to-date location and check the website here »

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