NORAD also numbers every object in the skies, including all space shuttle missions, thus providing an easy reference for people who are interested.

NORAD's original mission was to coordinate U.S. and Canadian Air Force assets to fend off any intrusions into either nation's airspace. The primary threat envisioned was a massive Soviet bomber attack; in which case, interceptors would be scrambled from Canadian and U.S. northern bases and vectored to their tagets by ground controllers at NORAD. Their headquarters is the (in)famous Cheyenne Mountain, as seen in the above-noted movie Wargames.

Later, as ICBMs began to become operational in the USSR, NORAD was given the additional mission of providing early warning for U.S. nuclear forces and civil defense organizations in the event a missile attack was launched against the United States. The existing DEW Line was not able to detect missile tracks; a new system, BMEWS, was deployed in northern Canada and Alaska to provide this capability. As other threats arose, NORAD was tasked with these additional missions, for example SLBM warning radars on the U.S. coasts.

NORAD operations were closely linked to SAC (which is now decommissioned) ops; SAC shared several facilities with NORAD including the Cheyenne Mountain control center.

For the record, NORAD has been tracking Santa Claus' activities since 1955.

A Santa Hotline phone number advertised from a department store was accidently printed and the number turned out to be the Operations Hotline for NORAD (which has of course since been changed). Colonel Harry Shoup assisted his confused subordinate military officers who were assigned to answer the phone. Young children from the nearby city were calling the number asking to speak to Santa. Taking a call himself, Shoup explained to the child on the phone that he was "helping Santa" but that Santa was not presently available.

The rest, as they say, is declassified.

Ever since that fateful surprise attack, NORAD has handled the fallout with a smokescreen. This military installation, a powerful department of our federal government and where a lot of our tax money goes, releases annual reports and announcements to the press explaining they are tracking Santa Claus' movements during the Christmas season and know exactly where that ripe bastard is is and when. Just in case the elves start revolting, we can blow Santa out of the sky in a matter of seconds. Next time your kid asks if there is a Santa Claus, tell him not only IS there a Santa, but the boys down in NORAD have an ICBM aimed at his big red ass even as we speak. I'm sure little boys and girls the world over are snug in their beds and satisfied with such knowledge.

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