NORAD’s Alaska region to track Santa across the state

Special operation continues for 66th year
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 7:58 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Inside a heavily fenced building on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, an elite and specialized crew of men and women are using sophisticated and highly advanced radar, satellite, and flight technology, keeping a watchful eye over the Alaska sky every day of every year. Tomorrow night, however, is not an ordinary Friday night, especially to little boys and girls who have especially good all year long.

“I would definitely say that we consider Santa a V.I.P when it comes to doing our job,” said Capt. Lauren Ott, director of public affairs for the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Alaska region. “And there is a whole crew standing by to monitor his whereabouts, and also to answer calls from those who are interested in knowing exactly where he is.”

This will be the 66th year, since it’s founding in 1955 that NORAD, and those stationed at the Alaska region, pull out all the stops to help make life a little easier for the big guy in red on his critical one night a year ride. NORAD starts tracking Santa at 11 a.m. Alaska time

“And so when our radar, part of the (North) Warning System, picks up on Santa’s activities, we’ll see that, and we’ll scramble some F-22s to escort him through our airspace,” Ott said.

And while people are waiting with visions of sugar plums dancing in their head, there’s more information on the history of this yearly operation, plus how they can follow along on Santa’s ride at

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