RAPID CITY, S.D. — As many eagerly await for Santa this Christmas, there’s more to be said of the journey he takes to get across the world.
His trek from the North Pole is carefully monitored by the brave men and women of NORAD or North American Air Defense.
“We’re here 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day tracking everything that flies in our airspace, so it’s both of the Canada airspace and the United States, so obviously a lot of radars and sophisticated integrated sensors that we use to do that which are perfect for keeping track of Santa,” said Brigaider General Derek O’Malley with the U.S. Air Force.
NORAD began tracking Santa over 60 years ago.
The tradition began after a child called NORAD, asking where Santa was and luckily someone knew where Saint Nichols was at the time.
“This is what we do. We track objects, so we were tracking saying at the time where he was tracking Santa, so pass that information to the child and right there a beautiful tradition was born that we’ve carried on for the past 66 years,” General O’Malley said.
And as NORAD watches over Santa with their infrared sensors that use a little bit of help from Santa’s reindeer.
“Those same satellites do an excellent job of tracking Rudolph’s nose,” General O’Malley said.
They wait for the chance every year, to play their part in making sure Santa spreads his cheer, safely.
“Some people say this is our super bowl. I actually wouldn’t say it’s our Super Bowl because it’s really no different than what we do every day, but it is something that we look forward to so much just to show the world and everybody in Canada in the United States that we are here always,” General O’Malley said.