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Every Christmas Eve, thousands of volunteers staff telephones and computers to answer calls and e-mails from children (and adults) from around the world. Live updates are provided through the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site (in seven languages), over telephone lines, and by e-mail to keep curious children and their families informed about Santa’s whereabouts and if it’s time to get to bed.

On Dec. 24, 1955, a call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. However, this call was not from the president or a general. It was from a girl in Colorado Springs who was following the directions in an advertisement printed in the local paper – she wanted to know the whereabouts of Santa Claus. Thus began a tradition carried on by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) when it was formed in 1958. (From www.norad.mil)

AWACS, abbreviation of Airborne Warning And Control System, a mobile, long-range radar surveillance and control centre for air defense. The system, as developed by the U.S. Air Force, is mounted in a specially modified Boeing 707 aircraft.

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Additional Photos by Eleu Tabares (eldancer1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2844 W: 0 N: 6674] (36343)
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