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North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Santa Web site going live - merged website


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North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Santa Web site going live


November 19, 2007


PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – In honor of the 52nd season of NORAD tracking Santa Claus on his annual journey around the world, the bi-national command tasked with providing aerospace security for North America announces that the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site www.noradsanta.org is live effective today, according to NORAD officials.


“The NTS program began in 1955 when an errant phone call was made to NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo,” said Michael Perini, NORAD Director of Public Affairs. “The call was from a local child who dialed a misprinted telephone number in a local newspaper advertisement,” Perini said. Although the wrong number, the commander who answered the phone that night gave the youngster the information he requested .…thus the tradition of NORAD tracking Santa began.


The program has grown immensely since it was first presented on the Internet in 1998. “In 2006, the Web site received a whopping 941 million hits from 210 countries and territories,” Perini said. In addition, the NTS Operations Center, occupied by 756 volunteers on Christmas Eve, answered nearly 65,000 phone calls and 96,000 emails from children around the world.

The Web site features the history of the program, information on how NORAD tracks Santa and interactive games. On December 24, beginning at 2:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (4 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 9 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time), the Web site will feature a minute-by-minute update on Santa’s travels around the world. All of this information is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.


The NORAD Tracks Santa Web site and program would not be possible without the support and generosity of the following corporate partners:


* Google

* Booz Allen Hamilton

* Analytical Graphics, Inc

* Verizon

* Official Santa Mail

* Globelink Language and Cultural Services, Inc.

* Avaya

* Qwest

* Plantronics

* First Choice Awards and Gifts

* Meshbox

* e-frontier

* The North Pole


For more information, please contact NORAD Public Affairs at (719) 554-3525/4072/6889.





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  • 4 weeks later...

Press Release from NORAD and the DoD


By Donna Miles

American Forces Press Service



WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2007 - Members of North American Aerospace Defense Command are gearing up to track Santa Claus' travels on Christmas Eve, providing detailed information about his whereabouts on the command's Web site and through a toll-free telephone line.


Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, delivered a tongue-in-cheek assessment of the Santa-tracking mission.


He reported a "consistent phenomenon" the command has tracked for decades. "Sometime around the 24th of December, this individual begins to take flight, and he makes a very rapid trip around the globe," he said.


When Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD's predecessor, first took notice of this flight in the 1950s, "there was a great concern, because we didn't know if this was a threat to our country and to free nations around the world," Renuart said. "What we found is, this gentleman brings good everywhere he goes."


NORAD's system to track this person has evolved over the years, refined through the use of radar systems, satellite sensors and communications and interactive information technologies, he said. "So we can precisely, at any time along his flight, identify his location, ensure he has the proper protection and ... he can complete his mission on time."


The NORAD elves are looking forward to tracking Santa again this year, Renuart said. From 2 a.m. Mountain Time Dec. 24 through 2 a.m. Mountain Time Christmas Day, they'll track his progress, posting details on the command's Web site at www.noradsanta.org.


"At any time in this process, they can find out where Santa is and when he should be into their area," Renuart said.


In addition, children can call the NORAD hotline at 877-HI-NORAD toll-free to check up on Santa. Translators we be on hand to report on his travels in six different languages, Renuart said. They'll also remind children that Santa can't come to their houses if they're awake, he said.


"It's an amazing planning process Santa goes through to arrive in each part of the world after the children have gone to sleep to ensure that he can review whether they have been good or bad, naughty or nice, and reward them appropriately," Renuart said. "So it's a mission we take very seriously, and we are looking forward to it."


The Santa-tracking mission dates back to 1955, after an ad in a local newspaper printed an incorrect number for Santa Claus that sent callers to Continental Air Defense Command's operations center. Its commander, Col. Harry Shoup, started the tradition of tracking Santa, a mission NORAD assumed in 1958.


Last year, the command's Santa-tracking Web site received more than 941 million page views from 210 countries and territories, NORAD officials reported. In addition, 756 volunteers answered more than 65,000 calls to the toll-free phone line.


While enjoying the levity of the mission, Renuart turned serious to extend thoughts and prayers to young men and women deployed in harm's way around the world and to their families who will spend the holidays without their loved ones.


"This is a difficult time in our country's history as we continue to struggle against this rash of violent extremism around the world," he said. "We've got great members of our military who have given selflessly of themselves. But importantly, their families have given selflessly as well, and our thoughts and prayers go out to them."


"We wish them all the best in this holiday season," he said. "We want them to be safe, and we want them to return home safely just as soon as this mission allows."


Meanwhile, Renuart assured that NORAD and NORTHCOM will continue carrying out their mission to ensure troops their families are protected and that, if disaster strikes in their communities, it's ready to respond.


"We take this job very seriously, and we are committed to make sure that when they arrive home safely, they come back to a safe home, as well," he said.



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