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December 24, 2013

Of Interest: Dec. 24, 2013

NORAD to track Santa’s movements today

ROME — New York Air National Guardsmen from the Eastern Air Defense Sector will play a key role tonight as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa Claus and his reindeer.

The Sector Operations Control Center in Rome will monitor Santa constantly as he travels across the eastern United States. These activities are in support of the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., which leads the monitoring effort.

NORAD starts its tracking operation at 7 a.m. today.

Children and parents can call the NORAD operations floor at 1-877-446-6723 for live updates on Santa or track him on the web at www.noradsanta.org. The operations floor can also be contacted via e-mail at noradtrackssanta@outlook.com.

Santa tracking information is also available on YouTube and Twitter.

The Santa-tracking tradition started in 1955, when a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement encouraging local children to call Santa listed an incorrect phone number.

Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number went into to the Continental Air Defense Command’s operations hotline. Col. Harry Shoup, the operations director, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given location updates and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created the bi-national NORAD operation, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

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