WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Dec. 13, 2016) - National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) is set to kick off the 61st anniversary of tracking Santa's yuletide journey from the North Pole with the naming of escort pilots and tracking crews for the important job.
Santa's escort pilots from 3 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, Quebec are Captain Sébastien Tremblay-Verreault, from Chicoutimi, Quebec, and Captain Frédéric Letourneau, from Rimouski, Quebec. The CF-18 Hornet Crew Chiefs supporting them are Master Corporal Scott Rose, from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Corporal Steeven Cantin, from Loretteville, Quebec.
Santa's escort pilots from 4 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Alberta are Lieutenant-Colonel William Radiff, from Lindsay, Ontario, and Major Denis Bandet, from Regina, Saskatchewan. The CF-18 Hornet Crew Chiefs supporting them are Master Corporal Joshua Correia, from Georgetown, Ontario, and Corporal Kurt Attwood, from Cold Lake, Alberta.
Santa Trackers from 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron's Delta Flight, 22 Wing at CFB North Bay, Ont. include: Captain Jim Mersereau, Mission Crew Commander, from Fredericton, New Brunswick, United States Air Force (USAF) Lieutenant Colonel Michael Harmon, Commander, 2 Detachment, First Air Force, and Master Corporal Christian Turcotte, Identification Supervisor, from Rimouski, Quebec, whose duty it is to maintain radio contact with Santa and his escort pilots.
This year CANR is dedicating this mission to the memory of Captain Thomas McQueen, who escorted Santa in 2014.
"The responsibility of keeping watchful eyes over North American airspace 24/7 rests with our men and women of the Canadian NORAD Region. It is a duty and honour we hold dearly; to ensure Santa's safe passage through North America so he can deliver joy and goodwill this holiday season."
- Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region
- The NORAD Tracks Santa website: www.noradsanta.org, now live and available in eight languages, features Santa's North Pole Village, including a holiday countdown, games, activities, and more.
- 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, Instagram and Google+. Santa followers just need to type "@noradsanta" into each search engine to get started.
- Starting at 2:01 a.m. EST 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 locate Santa.
- Santa trackers, escort pilots, and crew chiefs will be available for interviews until December 20, 2016.
Photos of Santa's escort pilots and tracking crews
NORAD Tracks Santa
Canadian NORAD Region