World

December 19, 2013

Alaskan NORAD Region keeps Santa safe, on schedule

Tags:
Master Sgt. Mikal Canfield
Alaskan NORAD Region Public Affairs
santa-tracker

OINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Children around the world know the role the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, plays in tracking Santa’s Christmas Eve flight around the world. What many don’t know is the role an organization in Alaska plays in ensuring Santa makes his deliveries.

U.S. and Canadian servicemembers of the Alaskan NORAD Region, or ANR, utilize 15 radar stations to monitor Santa as he traverses the airspace around the northern latitudes of North America, a mission ANR has successfully accomplished for 50 years.

“One of the things we do to help ensure Santa’s safety is to track him and make sure we know where he is in case he needs help,” said Lt. Col. John Oberst, 176th Air Control Squadron operations officer, Alaska Air National Guard. “During Santa’s flight, we send frequent reports on Santa’s position to NORAD headquarters.”

Like other regions within NORAD, aircraft are on stand-by at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to intercept and fly alongside Santa and his reindeer to assist in any way. The aircraft assigned to ANR for this mission are part of the 44th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron based at Kadena Air Base, Japan.

The tradition of NORAD tracking Santa dates back to 1955. According to the noradsanta.org web site, “the tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations ‘hotline.’ The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.”

At ANR, servicemembers look forward to the annual opportunity to ensure Santa’s safety. “It’s definitely a team effort here at ANR, and we look forward to it each year,” added Colonel Oberst.

When not tracking Santa, the ANR mission is to continuously provide warning of an aerospace attack within the region and will maintain aerospace control to include peacetime air sovereignty and appropriate aerospace defense measures in response to hostile actions within ANR’s area of operation. The Regional Air Operations Center (RAOC) component of ANR is comprised of all Active Guard members, Canadian Component servicemembers, and active duty augmentees.

Children of all ages interested in tracking Santa can do so at http://www.noradsanta.org/, visit the NORAD Tracks Santa Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/noradsanta, follow Santa’s progress on Twitter by subscribing to @NoradSanta, or track Santa via mobile phone by downloading the free NORAD Tracks Santa app.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

AFSOUTH Liaison Officers: Embarking on a journey toward a promising future

Colonel Alex Voigt has only been serving as the Air Forces Southern Chilean Liaison Officer at Davis-Monthan for a couple of months, but with a history of Chilean LNOs reaching the rank of general and one even going on to serve...
 
 

D-M commander mixes it up with ‘The Morning Blend’

(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey) U.S. Air Force Col. James P. Meger, 355th Fighter Wing commander, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., talks with TV hosts, Tina Jennings and Maria Parmigiani, during a live recording of “The Morning Blend” at KGUN9 Studio, Tucson, Nov. 24. Meger went on the show to...
 
 

Let’s talk turkey: Prepare the perfect bird this holiday season

Whether having a big group over to share the Thanksgiving festivities or it’s just you and the Family, the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table is the turkey. Guests will graze around the appetizer table careful not to fill their bellies in anticipation of the plump, juicy turkey and all the fixin’s. Most people aren’t world-renowned...
 

 
DoD

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service...
 
 

Officials highlight health, wellness resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin