The tracking of Santa Claus will continue to receive high tech help this year.
The New York Air National Guardsmen from the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) will assist the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in tracking the progress of Santa Claus and his reindeer tonight.
The Santa Operations Center will provide live updates via a web site set up for the occasion, www.noradsanta.org, where children and parents can track Santa's movements on-line.
"NORAD has supported Santa Claus' Christmas Eve operations for more than 50 years and we are always delighted to help," said Col. Dawne Deskins, EADS commander. "I can assure everyone that EADS will do everything in its power to assist Santa with his critical mission."
EADS will monitor Santa constantly as he travels across the eastern United States to deliver toys and gifts. Santa will be monitored using a “special radar monitor mission” on Santa's sleigh, providing continuous location updates.
The Santa tracking tradition started in 1955, when a Colorado Springs based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement encouraging local children to call Santa listed an incorrect phone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number went into to the Continental Air Defense Command's operations hotline. Col. Harry Shoup, the operations director, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given location updates and a tradition was born.
NORAD took over the tradition after its creation in 1958.