60 Seconds with Major Kathleen Leaton, Mission Crew Commander – Santa Trackers at 22 Wing/CFB North Bay

Video / December 21, 2017


Major Kathleen Leaton, Mission Crew Commander – Santa Trackers at 22 Wing/CFB North Bay

Major Kathleen Leaton: Charlie Flight is very excited to be tracking Santa this year.

Hi, I’m Major Kathleen Leaton here at 22 Wing, home of the Canadian Air Defence sector. This year, 21 Squadron’s Charlie Flight are the NORAD ‘Track Santa’ team. And as their flight commander it’s my honour to answer as many questions as I can in 60 seconds about NORAD ‘Track Santa’.

1. How can people track Santa?

A great question. If you’d like to track Santa with us, log on to Norad Santa or call 1-877-HI NORAD.

2. What is your role on December 24th?

On December 24th I’ll be the mission crew commander for Charlie Flight, which means I’ll be helping Santa as he makes his way through Canadian airspace. He and his reindeer will have a team of people that I’ll be managing and making sure that they are safe through our skies.

3. How can Santa travel the world within 24 hours?

A great question. Santa actually travels very fast as you can imagine, to make his deliveries. He goes the speed of starlight, so when our fighter jets intercept him to do their visual ID, Santa actually has to slow down. When he’s delivering gifts, he’s operating in a slightly different space/time continuum than the rest of us. But that’s part of the magic of Santa.

4. How does NORAD track Santa?

A great question. We use several pieces of technology including radars, satellites, our fighter jets, and of course Santa-cams.

5. How long has NORAD been tracking Santa?

NORAD has been tracking Santa for 60 years, this year. But even before that, 62 years ago in 1955, when we were still the Continental Air Defense Command, Colonel Harry Shoup happened to be working in Colorado Springs when there was a newspaper misprint that listed the number for Air Force Command as the number to call for tracking Santa. So when that first set of boys and girls called him he knew what was going on, and he started a grand tradition for the rest of us which carries on to this day.

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