HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Santa Claus is coming to town and the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) is helping track his sleigh.
They invited News 19 into their Joint Operations Center on Redstone Arsenal ahead of Santa’s 2022 mission to show us what tracking the big guy looks like.
Commanding General of the USASMDC, Lieutenant General Daniel Karbler explained that Santa is assigned a tracking number.
“You can see call sign, Santa 6 he’s got a joint track number there, 13171” LTG. Karbler said.
He also explained the highly specialized equipment the team uses.
“We have our Space and Network Tracking Application (SANTA) software” he said. “As well as our Enhanced Low Frequency (ELF) radar.”
Lieutenant General Karbler said the ELF Radar works by satellites picking up “the infrared signal off of Rudolph’s nose”. He said “it [the nose] gives off a lot of heat so we’re able to track Rudolph.”
Karbler said tracking Santa is a team effort with about 14 people on the crew.
That includes Rozeka Gates. She said tracking Santa’s whereabouts is important because “we want the kids to receive their gifts on time, so that is what we’re working very hard to do.”
While the demonstration was a bit exaggerated, Lieutenant General Karbler said he thanks the Huntsville community for their support of the USASMDC.
“We want to thank the city of Huntsville, the greater Tennessee Valley area for their awesome support of our military. This is a little tongue-and-cheek but we know we have soldiers from Space & Missile Defense Command that are on consoles 24/7/365 to make sure that we stay ready and keep America protected.”Lieutenant General Daniel Karbler, Commanding General of the USASMDC.