Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 08, 2014 16:53 ET

Canadian NORAD Region Names Escort Pilots and Crews

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Dec. 8, 2014) - Royal Canadian Air Force

The Canadian North American Aerospace Defence Command Region (CANR) Santa trackers and escort pilots and their crews have been selected for the high profile job.

Quick Facts

  • Santa escort pilots from 3 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, Que. are Captain Denis "Cheech" Beaulieu," and Captain Steven "Bunt" Nierlich. CF-18 Hornet Crew Chiefs supporting the Bagotville escort pilots are Corporal Daniel Boucher, and Corporal Marc-Andre David.

  • Santa escort pilots from 4 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Alta. are Major Yanick "Crank" Gregoire, and Captain Thomas "Toast" McQueen. Crew Chiefs supporting the Cold Lake escort pilots are Corporal Sébastien Morin and Corporal Andrew Shields.

  • Santa Trackers from 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron based at 22 Wing Canadian Forces Base North Bay, Ont., will also be keeping a watchful eye on Santa's sleigh.

  • Santa trackers and escort pilots will be available for interviews until December 23, 2014.

  • Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Windows, Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can countdown the days until Santa's launch on their smart phones and tablets! Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Santa followers just need to type "@noradsanta" into each search engine to get started.

  • Also new this year, the website features Santa's elves in the North Pole Village. NORAD Tracks Santa is introducing the newest elf and asking the public to help choose the perfect name for him. Details can be found via NORAD Tracks Santa social media or in the "Name the Elf" video in Santa's North Pole Movie Theater at

  • All Santa-related information is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.

  • Starting at 12:01 a.m. MST on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD's "Santa Cams" will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 4 a.m. MST (6 a.m. EST), trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa's whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to Any time on Dec. 24, Windows Phone users can ask Cortana for Santa's location, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to find Santa.


"Every day, every hour, the men and women of the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) keep watchful eyes over North American airspace. This capability also enables us to escort Santa safely into Canada on December the 24th. Ensuring that Santa's worldwide journey of goodwill and cheer arrives safely and on time is a particularly gratifying mission for the dedicated men and women of CANR."

Major-General David Wheeler
Commander Canadian North American Aerospace Defence Command Region

Related Products

NORAD is ready to track Santa's flight

Photos of escort pilots and crews

Associated Links

NORAD Tracks Santa

Canadian NORAD Region


Contact Information

  • 1 Canadian Air Division and Canadian
    NORAD Region Headquarters
    Captain Wright Eruebi
    Public Affairs Officer
    204-833-2500 ext. 6795 / Cell: 204-291-1789

    22 Wing/CFB North Bay
    Captain Leah Pierce
    Public Affairs Officer
    705-494-2011 ext. 2822
    Cell: 705-491-1022

    3 Wing/CFB Bagotville
    Eric Gagnon
    Public Affairs Officer
    Cell: 418-550-5541

    4 Wing/CFB Cold Lake
    Lieutenant Mat Strong
    Public Affairs Officer
    780-840-8000 ext. 8121
    Cell: 780-813-0210