Pentagon gears up to track Santa

With only 10 days left before Christmas, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) says it is ready to carry out one of its most important missions of the year: tracking Santa Claus.

The command has created a website, complete with a Santa Tracker Countdown, that calculates the exact second when Santa, Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer will take off to deliver gifts around the globe, NORAD announced on Monday.

The command and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), have tracked Santa for nearly 60 years. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The tradition dates back to 1955 when a Sears Roebuck ad misprinted the phone number for children to call Santa. 

Last week, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby was asked by a young girl whether the Defense Department was prepared to track jolly old Saint Nicholas.

"Adm. Kirby, are you ready to track Santa this year?" she inquired during a press briefing, to roars of laughter.

“Yes, as a matter of fact we are,” Kirby replied, directing her to the NORAD website.

He then asked what the young girl wanted for Christmas.

She said she wanted toys and parts for Baymax, a robot character from the recent animated Disney movie “Big Hero 6.” 

“That sounds pretty sophisticated,” Kirby said. 

“That sounds like something we should give the Iraqis,” he joked.

Kirby asked if she had been good this year. When the girl said she had, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman said, “All right. I want a report.”