Alliance Between US and Canadian Militaries Allow for NORAD to Track Santa Claus

As the world prepares to celebrate Christmas on Wednesday, there are no shortage of ways to get into the holiday spirit…especially for our nation’s children.

Of course, no Christmas celebration would be completely for American kids without the time-honored story of Santa Claus and his magical sleigh zipping through the sky under the power of enchanted reindeer – a story that will likely come under some scrutiny as our children begin to grow into their young adulthood based on the logistical reality of such an endeavor.

That’s why NORAD, in conjunction with the US and Canadian militaries, continue to provide a “Santa Tracker” to demonstrate just how the North Pole’s most famous denizen does it.

Depending on which country they’re from, the kids may ask about Father Christmas, Papa Noel, Saint Nick or Santa Claus.

But those who believe all want to know one thing: where in the world the jolly old man and his sleigh full of gifts are on Christmas Eve.

For the 64th time, a wildly popular program run by the U.S. and Canadian militaries is providing real-time updates on Santa’s progress to millions around the globe.

And this year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command is offering even more high-tech ways for children and parents to follow along.

Here’s where it gets fun:

Operation NORAD Tracks Santa has evolved from a misdirected telephone call in 1955, to a trailer parked outside the command’s former lair deep inside Cheyenne Mountain, to NORAD ’s modern-day headquarters at Colorado’s Peterson Air Force Base.

Along the way, the tens of thousands of telephone calls fielded by NORAD volunteers each year have been augmented by an explosion of technology that lets millions track St. Nick’s journey from the North Pole to the Pacific and Asia, from Europe to the Americas.

This year’s portals include Alexa, OnStar, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and 3-D apps developed for mobile devices by Cesium, a Philadelphia-based IT and defense contractor. The apps integrate geospatial and satellite-positioning technology with high-resolution graphics that display the actual positions of the stars, sun and moon and the shadows they cast at any point in Santa’s journey.

Those working the tracker and its related programs relish the opportunity to be involved in the annual Christmas tradition, with one employee stating that they never have a block of time move so quickly as it does during the Christmas shifts.