ROME, NY (12/22/2019) (readMedia)-- New York Air National Guardsmen and Royal Canadian Air Force personnel from the Eastern Air Defense Sector will play a key role Christmas Eve as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tracks Santa Claus and his reindeer.
"NORAD has supported Santa Claus' Christmas Eve operations for 64 years and we are always delighted to help," said Col. Emil J. Filkorn, EADS Commander. "I can assure everyone that EADS will do everything in its power to assist Santa with his critical mission."
The defense of Canada and the United States is NORAD's top priority. A binational U.S. and Canadian command charged with aerospace and maritime warning and aerospace control of North America, NORAD also monitors aerospace activity globally. Every year during the holidays, NORAD assumes the supplementary mission of tracking Santa as he travels around the world.
Located at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, New York, EADS is part of the U.S. Continental NORAD Region (CONR). Composed chiefly of New York Air National Guardsmen from the 224th Air Defense Group and a Canadian Forces detachment, EADS' force includes Army and Navy liaison officers, federal civilians and contractors. EADS also has two detachments in the National Capital Region.
EADS mission is to counter all air threats to the eastern half of the continental U.S. through vigilant detection, rapid warning and precise tactical control of NORAD forces. The same radars, satellites and interceptors used to assist Santa on December 24 are employed year-round to defend Canada and the United States.
On Dec. 24, parents and children can call 1-877-HiNORAD (446-6723) for Santa's up-to-date location. Santa's location can also be tracked at the NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, or on Facebook and Twitter at @NORADSanta.
Airmen at the Eastern Air Defense Sector recently conduct training in preparation for Santa's Christmas Eve flight at the Easter Air Defense Sector headquarters in Rome, N.Y. as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa effort. Pictured, front to back, are Senior Airman Timothy Destito of the New York Air National Guard; Capt. John Byeon, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Capt. Sarah Atherton, New York Air National Guard. Capt. Atherton and Senior Airman Destito are members of the 224th Air Defense Squadron and Capt. Byeon is a member of the Canadian Detachment at EADS. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tim Jones.)