Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 13, 2016 16:39 ET

Canadian NORAD Region names Santa's escort pilots and trackers

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

Quick Facts

  • The NORAD Tracks Santa website:, 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 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.

Related Products

Photos of Santa's escort pilots and tracking crews

Associated Links

NORAD Tracks Santa

Canadian NORAD Region


Contact Information

  • 1 Canadian Air Division and
    Canadian NORAD Region Headquarters
    Captain Graeme Scott
    Public Affairs Officer
    204-833-2500 ext. 2156 or Cell: 204-229-3649

    22 Wing/CFB North Bay
    Captain Leah Pierce
    Public Affairs Officer
    705-494-2011 ext. 2822
    Cell: 705-477-3053

    3 Wing/CFB Bagotville
    Nadine Belley-Traore
    Communications Coordinator

    4 Wing/CFB Cold Lake
    Captain Mat Strong
    Public Affairs Officer
    780-840-8000 ext. 8121