No Fighter Escorts For Santa
You know the Defense budget is getting tight when we can’t spare a few measly fighter planes to escort an imaginary character.
Air Force Times (“NORAD: No Fighter Escorts For Santa“):
As it has every year since 1955, the North American Aerospace Defense Command will be tracking Santa on his whirlwind journey to deliver presents to all the good little boys and girls around the world.
But he won’t be escorted by armed fighter jets.
When NORAD recently launched its yearly online Santa tracker, the site featured a video showing the jolly old elf being escorted by U.S. fighter jets “bristling with missiles,” as the Boston Globe put it.
That caused a minor earthquake in the Twitterverse about why Santa would need an armed escort. The answer: Russia.
But a NORAD spokesman confirmed to Military Times that the “missiles” are actually fuel tanks.
“Guilty as charged, we tried to give it a more operational feel this year; that was purposefully done to try to highlight our mission sets,” said Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis. “If you look at the second promo video we have where it talks through a mock training exercise, it really lays out what our different missions are and shows the different radar sets.”
So while NORAD will be tracking Santa’s flight this Christmas, if St. Nick gets into a tussle with some MiGs, his only defense will be the evasive capabilities of his reindeer.
This gives war on Christmas a whole new meaning.