NORAD has announced that, despite the partially shut down government, their Santa tracker will be up and running to perfection, as per usual, reports the NPR. NORAD and USNORTHCOM announced on social media platform Twitter that the 63-year-old tradition of tracking Santa on Christmas Eve will still be underway. So count on Military personnel — who conduct the NORAD Santa tracking — to be doing their due diligence this year, with approximately 1,500 volunteers who work the Santa tracking program.
NORAD is a joint United States and Canadian operation that is based in Colorado Springs. Last year, they received 126,000 phone calls, 18 million website hits, and 1.8 million followers on Facebook, and 170,000 more on Twitter. Expect them to be in uniform once again this Monday, taking calls from children all around the world who wish to know when Santa will be coming to their area. They will not be affected by the government shutdown, since the program is run by volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, and is fully funded by the Department of Defense’s budget, which was pre-approved earlier this year.
For those who may not know what this is, NORAD Tracks Santa dates back to the cold war. It’s an annual themed Christmas program which is produced by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, otherwise known as NORAD. The program tacks Santa Clause as he leaves the North Pole to deliver gifts to children around the world. Since the year 2012, Analytical Graphics Inc. has used the Cesium platform to build a 3D map for visualizing Santa’s location.
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
In 2014, NORAD logged close to 20 million visits to its Santa Tracker, so one can easily see how popular this program is among children and their families. In 2016, then First Lady Michelle Obama took part in taking phone calls from children across the country as part of the NORAD Tracks Santa program.
A student at the Mississippi State University — who once got involved in volunteering for NORAD Tracks Santa — made remarks about the spirit of this special tradition, reports Fox News Network.
“It really gets you into the Christmas spirit. There are Christmas carols in the background, everyone’s very friendly, happy to be there.”
Every year, children call in, asking for Santa’s location, providing details to their Christmas lists, and asking the volunteers for other details on Santa and his Christmas mission. In fact, Politico reports that there is even a handbook for handling the various types of requests that volunteers get from these children as they call in on Christmas Eve.
More information on Santa’s movements this Christmas Eve can be gotten by emailing email@example.com, or calling 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723).