The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) website, which “tracks” Santa’s movements every Christmas season, has drawn criticism this year for depicting his sleigh flanked by a fighter jet escort.
According to Fox News, “NORAD Tracks Santa” has been providing updates on Santa’s whereabouts since Christmas season 1955. As technology advanced, the updates have included “animated videos showing Santa on his fight path.”
A NORAD spokesman said they added the fighter jet escort this year to give a “realistic feel” to the animation.
Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) criticized the move, claiming NORAD has now linked the military with Christmas. CCFC’s Allen Kanner said: “Children associate Santa with gifts and fun and everything else that is positive about Christmas. [NORAD is] associating this with the military in children’s minds.”
But as Navy Captain Jeff Davis explained, “NORAD videos have linked fighter escorts and Santa since the 1960s.” The only new element this year is that the escorts are shown in an animated video.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.