Military ‘tracks’ storybook flight of St. Nick for 60th year

FILE - In this Dec. 24, 2014, file photo, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Charles D. Luckey joins other volunteers taking phone calls from children around the world asking where Santa is and when he will deliver presents to their homes, inside a phone-in center during the annual NORAD Tracks Santa Operation, at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Hundreds of military and civilian volunteers at NORAD are estimated to field more than 100,000 calls this year through Christmas Eve, from children from all over the world eager to hear about Santa's progress. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Santa Claus is coming to town, and for the 60th consecutive year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command will continue its tradition of telling youngsters the location of Kris Kringle on his annual storybook world tour.

The so-called Santa Tracker’s hub is at Colorado’s Peterson Air Force base, where hundreds of volunteers will be answering calls from an estimated 125,000 children around the globe looking for Santa’s whereabouts.

In places like Alaska, however, remote NORAD identification technicians who monitor computer screens 24 hours a day for possible air incursions also spend Christmas Eve serving as official Santa “trackers.”

The technicians in Canada and the U.S. report “sightings” of a sleigh full of toys pulled by flying reindeer, said Tech. Sgt. John Gordinier, an Alaska NORAD spokesman.

“It’s one of the largest military community relations events we have,” Gordinier said.

 

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