TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WFLA/CNN) – Finding out where Santa is along his route is something many children are dying to know.
“I have twin boys, they’re 11 years old and then, of course, a group of nieces and nephews and every year we log onto NORAD Track Santa and so we watch him as he makes his journey around the world,” said Senior MSgt. Martha Dunning, a superintendent for Tyndall Air Force Base’s Air and Space Operations Center.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command is an American and Canadian bi-national organization with the mission of aerospace warning, control, and maritime warning in North America.
But on December 24th, their mission shifts gears to track Santa.
“What usually happens is we pick him up on radar along the northern part of Canada and Alaska,” said Colonel Connor.
While NORAD can track him, his path is always unknown.
“His course that he takes is different every year, it depends on the weather a little bit, it depends on kids being asleep as well,” said Colonel Connor.
Thanks to NORAD’s technology, they’re able to track Santa so he can travel safely through the skies at night.
“We want to make sure that he’s de-conflicted from anyone else so that no one gets in the way of him spreading his holiday cheer,” said MSgt. Dunning.
But NORAD didn’t always keep tabs on Santa’s route. This 64-year tradition happened on accident, after a misprint in the newspaper.
“Someone called in, it was actually a mistaken wrong number, thinking that they were calling Santa Claus. So that kinda started things off where they thought well we are in the air defense business, we might as well track Santa as well,” said Colonel Connor.
Kicking off a family-friendly tradition to celebrate for years to come.
To track Santa, click here.