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.


 
 

 

Iraqi Security Forces repel ISIL attack

WASHINGTON – An attempt by 20 to 25 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters to attack al Asad Air Base in Iraq was repulsed by “ready and able” Iraqi security forces, the Pentagon press secretary said today. “The attempted attack was led, we believe, by at least several … suicide attackers,” Navy Rear...
 
 

Avoid online dangers, unfriendly users on social media

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The internet instantaneously allows you to reach out across the internet superhighway to share information or connect with loved ones.  Despite how innocuous this may seem, without taking the proper precautions, your personal information can inadvertently fall into the wrong hands. “You have to assume that everyone is looking at it,” said...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Timothy Boyer)

Flyovers: Sight, sound of freedom

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — They are breathtaking, flawless and can cause the viewer to have goosebumps. They look easy, but, according to those who perform them, flyovers take training, skill and precise decisions to ex...
 

 

Air Force seeks $10 billion over sequestration funding

WASHINGTON – The demand for Air Force capabilities is increasing, therefore the service is requesting $10 billion more than sequestration-level funding provides, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said today in Orlando, Florida. Speaking during the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition, James discussed why the Air Force is taking its strongest...
 
 

75 day leave carryover ends Sept. 30

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Effective Sept. 30, military members will no longer be able to carry more than 60 days of leave into the next fiscal year, in accordance with 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requirements. Unless they are approved for special leave accrual, regular Air Force and Active Guard Reserve, or...
 
 

Generals outline Combat Air Force’s future challenges

ORLANDO, Fla. (AFNS) — Four senior Air Force leaders discussed key issues facing the nation’s Combat Air Forces at the Air Warfare Symposium here, Feb.12. During the hour-long discussion, leaders touched on budget concerns, ongoing operations against the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant terrorist group, the future of fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 Raptor and F-35A...
 




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