NORAD commander, Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, expressed his commitment to the task earlier in the year before a Senate subcommittee. Not only will O’Shaughnessy oversee this important mission, he will spend time answering questions from some of NORAD’s most important soldiers on Christmas Eve—children from around the world waiting for their visit from St. Nicholas.
Volunteers and members of the military answer calls from around the globe tomorrow night. Last year the over 15,000 volunteers answered 126,000 phone calls, 18 million website hits as their young patrons waited in anticipation. In addition to the phone calls and website hits, Track Santa has more than 1.8 million followers on Facebook and 179,000 more on Twitter.
This tradition started as an accident when in 1955 an accidental phone call from a small child reached the then Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The general who answered the call did not dismiss the young child but instead offered to help find the travel plans of Santa Claus and a tradition was born.
The child reached the command center when a local paper in Colorado Springs mistakenly listed the hotline number to CONAD as the number to the North Pole. Now, 63 years later the tradition continues.
For those wishing to track Santa’s movements tomorrow night you may call 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or to track his trek on the web log onto https://www.noradsanta.org/. Merry Christmas everyone.