As people prepare to countdown to Christmas Eve on Dec. 24, the North American Aerospace Defense Command is ready to follow Santa as he delivers presents
to children around the world with his sled and trusty reindeer crew.
For more than 62 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command have tracked Santa’s flight around the globe on Dec. 24.
“Santa is always on time, minus those kids, minus those kids of course that don’t go to bed on time. So thankfully he’s helped out with Rudolf’s nose, to help him guide through any sort of weather phenomenon, as we both know the story,” said Cameron Hillier, the NORAD Captain on Santa Tracking Duty, to Reuters.
“…we’re here to provide a helping hand to make sure he has a safe flight.”
This tradition is supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers each year, helping Santa answer phone calls and replying to letters from children from over 220 countries.
“The kids’ questions are always will keep people coming back to volunteer year after year and what makes a tremendous experience throughout the entire day. Even though it’s a long day it’s 20 hours a solid tracking. It’s there is the interaction with the kids that make it all worth it,” said Hillier.
NORAD announced on Twitter on Dec. 21, that they will continue with its 63-year tradition even after the government shutdown event.
In the event of a government shutdown, NORAD will continue with its 63-year tradition of NORAD Tracks Santa on Dec. 24. Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who make the program possible each and every year. pic.twitter.com/fY0oyjrdDc
— NORAD & USNORTHCOM (@Norad_Northcom) December 21, 2018
Last year, 18 million visitors registered on Norad’s site, according to Hillier.
Those who are eager to catch Santa’s trip can visit the website for its countdown clock.