Will NORAD still monitor Santa if the government shuts down?

Staff Writer

Nothing will keep Santa out of the skies on Christmas Eve, government shutdown or not, NORAD’s Santa Tracker will follow the Santa’s journey - every step of the way.
The Santa Tracker, which is celebrating its 63rd year, won’t be affected by a pending government shutdown, which will start at midnight Friday unless Congress and the White House strike a deal to keep things running.
Nine departments and dozens of agencies will run out of funds unless President Trump and lawmakers agree to extend their funding.
Even if parts of the government shut down, the Santa Tracker will still use satellites and radar to keep tabs on Santa’s journey around the globe and take calls from anxious kids who want to know if he has been spotted close to them.
The Santa Tracker is staged every year by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, a joint organization of the United States and Canada that provides aerospace and maritime warnings and aerospace control of North America.
“We’re on duty 24-7, 365 days a year,” said Capt. Cameron Hillier, spokesman for NORAD and U.S. North Command.
NORAD gets its U.S. funding through the Department of Defense, whose budget was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.
A minimal amount of federal funding from the United States and Canada is used for the Santa Tracker. Most of the program’s resources are provided by corporate sponsors and by about 1,400 volunteers who will join NORAD on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and help with an around-the-clock call center on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
There are a bunch of neat features on the NORAD Santa Tracker website, including: a Santa Tracker Countdown Clock, a virtual Santa Village, Christmas music, games and so much more!
Besides the call center, which will answer questions from good little girls and boys, the Santa Tracker features a mobile friendly website (www.noradsanta.org), social media channels and a “Santa Cam” streaming video. On Christmas Eve, users may call 1-877-HiNORAD to get an up-to-date report on Santa’s current location.

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