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NORAD’s Choice of Santa’s Escort This Year And The 2013 Test Flight Of ‘Big Red 1′ [Video]

Parents and children have been tracking Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve on the NORAD website since 1955.

This year, Santa and his reindeer have an unusual escort. See it, and more in the 2013 test flight for “Big Red 1″

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) website that tracks Santa’s progress across the globe as he delivers toys to good little girls and boys on Christmas Eve drew 22.3 million views last year and answered 114,000 phone calls. It will be available in eight languages this year. NORAD’s seasonal website was launched in 1955, and in the last few years their updates have included animated videos of Santa on his flight path.

This year, those videos will feature Santa’s new escort….military fighter jets. Other videos will feature an intelligence officer reassuring parents and children that “intel can confirm that Jack Frost and the Abominable Snowman will not be a threat.” Those military-like features have angered many parents and more than a few child psychologists.

One such child and family psychologist, and a co-founder of Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Alen Kanner, accuses the military of “being completely out of line.” He goes on to say, “Children associate Santa with gifts and fun and everything else that is positive about Christmas.” Others speculate that the jet fighter escort for Santa is a very subtle way for the military to start recruiting children at a very young age.

NORAD defends their choice of an escort for Santa. Navy Captain Jeff Davis says, “We wanted folks to know that, hey, this is a NORAD video, and we’re the military and this is our mission.”

This is actually really cool! Follow NORAD as they track “Big Red 1″ through his 2013 test flight…satellites, radar, and yes, all of the military-like features that have made people angry, in the video below.

To track Santa’s progress this Christmas Eve, click here.

Do you think NORAD’s threats to Santa featured in this year’s test flight of “Big Red 1″ will scare children? Tell us in the comments section below.

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