Full Resources of the U.S. Military Tracking Santa Claus: NORAD, the U.S. Air Defense responsible for Protecting Against Enemy Nuclear and Missile Attack Fully Focused on Tracking Santa
By Nate Thayer
I really hesitate to write the following as I know I will be subject to the wrath of many for being a curmudgeon spoiling the holiday cheer, but do we really need tax dollars funding the most sophisticated top secret U.S. military facility charged with detected incoming nuclear and ballistic missile attacks focused on tracking Santa Claus?
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command based out of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, and whose motto is “Deter, Detect, and defend”, is currently putting the full resources of the United States military defense command into tracking Santa Claus, having established a “Santa Operations Center.”
One can follow Santa’s movements at http://www.noradsanta.org/en/track.html
Not to mention their distraction by prioritizing such targets might leave the bad guys a wide open window to take advantage and strike while we are not looking.
According to a NORAD press release from Peterson Air Force Base “North American Aerospace Defense Command is ready to track Santa, and media are invited to participate in a variety of ways, to include conducting live broadcast interviews with senior NORAD officers on Dec. 24” adding there are “many ways media can participate” including “NORAD will offer opportunities for live interviews from the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center on Dec. 24 in addition to audio, video, B-roll, and select historical “Santa cam” files.”
In addition “ Senior NORAD officers will include U.S. Army General Charles H. Jacoby Jr., NORAD Commander; Canadian Forces Lieutenant-General Alain Parent, NORAD Deputy Commander; and U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Michael Dubie, Vice Commander, U.S. NORAD Element. The senior leaders will be actively tracking Santa and available for live satellite interviews from 6:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST. On-scene audio-visual specialists will help facilitate all interviews. Scheduling is necessary in order to accommodate all interested news organizations.”
The “NORAD Tracks Santa Media Operations Center” is available for “live updates on Santa’s whereabouts on Dec. 24” and interested parties “may call the NORAD Tracks Santa Media Center at (719) 556-1910 or (719) 556-5128. Be advised that phone lines may be extremely busy.”
The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center (NTSOC) opened on December 24th at 5:00 a.m. EST (4:00a.m. CST, 3:00a.m. MST, and 2:00a.m. PST) and remains open until 5:00am EST (4:00a.m. CST, 3:00a.m. MST, and 2:00a.m. PST) on December 25th.
NORAD says Santa first visits such locations as Fuji, Kyoto, and Yokohama in Japan, Seoul, Yakutsk, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Australia, Jakarta, Taiping, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Laos, Hanoi, Lhasa, Krasnoyarsk and Dudinka.
His stay in each home is limited to just three ten-thousandths of a second. The current population of the Earth is around 7 billion, so Santa has a busy few hours ahead of him.
Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. After he visits South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Asia, Africa and Western Europe, he’ll head to Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America.
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is a United States and Canadian organization responsible for aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America, including the detection and warning of attack against North America by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles.
In case the bad guys are not aware, NORAD is currently preoccupied with tracking Santa Claus and the movement of his reindeer around the planet, and if anyone is interested in launching a nuclear or missile attack on the leader of the Free World, now might be the most opportune moment to catch us while our guard is down.
According to NORAD, its mission is to “in close collaboration with homeland defense, security, and law enforcement partners, prevent air attacks against North America, safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted, and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America. To accomplish these critically important missions…The NORAD and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) Command Center serves as a central collection and coordination facility for a worldwide system of sensors designed to provide the commander and the leadership of Canada and the U.S. with an accurate picture of any aerospace or maritime threat.”
To that end, “NORAD uses a network of satellites, ground-based radar, airborne radar and fighters to detect, intercept and, if necessary, engage any air-breathing threat….”
At the moment NORAD is apparently focused on tracking the movements of Santa Claus.
However, I don’t want to disparage the importance of NORAD to the peace and security of the Free World. As they rightly point out, “The events of September 11, 2001 demonstrated NORAD’s continued relevance to North American security. Today, NORAD provides civil authorities with a potent military response capability to counter domestic airspace threats should all other methods fail.
And for you anti U.S knee jerk zealots, NORAD’s mission isn’t entirely an American effort.
Canadian “CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft are on continuous alert to respond to any potential aerial threat to the safety of Canada and Canadians” and, headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, a Combined Air Operations Center “executes the NORAD air sovereignty mission for the continental United States..”
In addition the Combined Air Operations Center also “plans, conducts, controls, and coordinates all Air Force forces for the Commander of NORAD. The best of the US Air Force and Air National Guard fighter inventory, the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-22 Raptor, fly as CONR’s primary weapons systems” including for the “Washington DC area, which is protected by the NCR Integrated Air Defense System (NCR IADS) consisting of a system of radars, cameras, visual warning system, alert aircraft and Army air defense artillery assets.”
The only problem is I am alarmed to report that NORAD is currently entirely focused on tracking the global movements of Santa Claus, and I am feeling somewhat vulnerable by their distraction from maintaining the security of the airspace above my house from other than overweight do gooders bearing gifts over the next hours.
This vital mission was sparked in 1955, when, on Dec. 24, a call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs from a local girl who was following the directions in an advertisement printed in the local paper and wanted to know the whereabouts of Santa Claus.
The ad said “Hey, Kiddies! Call me direct and be sure and dial the correct number.” The number was for the CONAD operations center. Duty officer Colonel Harry Shoup received numerous calls that night and rather than hanging up, he had his operators find the location of Santa Claus and reported it to every child who phoned in.
Thus began NORAD using the fruits of billions of dollars of my money to track, through satellite systems, high-powered radars and jet fighters, Santa Claus as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.
Every Christmas Eve, thousands of volunteers staff telephones and answer calls and e-mails from children around the world. Live updates are provided through the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site (in seven languages), over telephone lines, and by e-mail to keep the citizenry informed about Santa’s whereabouts.
The NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site receives nearly nine million visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world, 12,000 e-mails and more than 70,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline.
In 2012 we are able to track Santa through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and TroopTube.tv by typing in @noradsanta into a search engine.
So, while I am also concerned about falling off the fiscal cliff which, to avoid, requires budget cuts of federal expenditures, for the moment I am quite happy that the full military resources and force of the most powerful nation of earth is devoted to assisting youngsters in keeping a close eye on the movements of Santa Claus.
Come the new year, the NORAD Santa Tracking Center might deserve to be scrutinized as a legitimate target for those with the unfortunate mandate of attempting to keep the world economy from freefalling into a depression.
In the meantime, I think the devotion of the full military might of the United States on keeping the wide eyed youngsters abreast of the movements of Santa Claus as he approached their homes is a fine use of the nation’s resources.