Last Christmas, Reuters suddenly started worrying about Santa’s safety, fretting that America’s planned East Coast missile defense system might shoot him down. We weren’t worried then, and we’re not worried this year either, considering that Santa will be flanked by fighter jets as NORAD tracks his journey around the world.

As the Washington Times reports:

 The North American Aerospace Defense Command again will track Santa Claus’ progress on Christmas Eve, but this year the jolly old elf’s sleigh will be escorted by two U.S. fighter jets.

“The aircraft are not armed,” said NORAD spokesman Navy Cmdr. Bill Lewis, adding that “we are using satellite systems, radars, fighter jets” to ensure St. Nick’s safe passage around the world.

NORAD, which has tracked Santa’s flight since 1955, also will use a new interactive website — noradsanta.org — to display his path this year.

Not only are the two aircraft not armed; they also [spoiler warning] don’t exist. Still, the fighter jets some have up in arms, while others are glad to see the military presented in a positive way. Roll your eyes or nod along as warranted:

Whoa!

  • Karadion

    Did these people lose their minds?

    • mickeyco

      Some people’s offended and outraged meter is set way too low.

      • aztectrumpet

        like in the negatives?

    • Clete Torres

      Yes. The very first time they self-identified as liberals.

  • Maximum Booger

    Lame. They’re using an F-18. Should have been an F-22.

    • Newtie and the Beauty

      I was thinking the F-4 Phantom would be appropriate 😛

      • Pete Chmielecki

        Could have used the Double Ugly when flying over Greece. The Phabulous Phantom still flies over the Aegean….

        • ozconservative

          The World’s Leading Distributor of MIG Parts

    • Sean Minturn

      F-35. The F-22 is a white elephant.

      • Markward

        F-35 is over priced crud. USAF got what they wanted, the USMC version is delayed, and the USN has no gun built into it. Oh it has a gun pod that can be mounted, but that reduces the range. Not to mention the USN wasn’t too thrilled with a 1 engine fighter.

        • http://www.jabootu.com/acolytes/bnotes/ Apostic

          I’d rather they’d use a B-52. Eight flying reindeer matched by eight turbojet engines. Perceptions of “quaint” and “archaic” for both sets. And who knows: Maybe they could pipe Santa some egg nog from a KC-135.

          • Clete Torres

            Somebody needs to photoshop this. It’d make an awesome picture.

    • Carlos Danger

      They have had fighters at different points going to escort Santa. Years ago they had a animated clip of Santa flying over an aircraft carrier as fighters were launching.

      When he entered Canadian airspace, they had a clip of Canadian F-16s taking off to escort Santa as he entered NORAD airspace.

  • Al’s Not So Sad Grampa

    I’m offended that NORAD caved to the gun grabbers and disarmed the fighters. What good will it do when Santa is flying over hostile territory?

    • Doc Farmer ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Like Chicago and Detroit!

  • bedfordthegreat

    My problem with this is that the fighter escort was needed when Santa visited Tehran earlier, not in the USA.

  • Newtie and the Beauty

    I agree with the three-year-old grandson–Cool!
    Go USA!

  • James Hansen

    if it upsets liberals, then it is cool.

  • Pablo

    It’s just stupid. Santa has been doing his gig for ages. He doesn’t need any help, especially not from the Federal government. #LeaveSantaAlone

    • ozconservative

      Santa has been doing it since 1940

      http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/44912510

    • americanexile

      Wrong. The Iraqis shot him down in South Park a few years back and Jesus had to rescue him.

      • Pablo

        Please tell me we’re not confusing Jesus with the Federal government on His birthday.

      • Maximum Booger

        And that’s when Jesus died. Which is why we remember him on December 25th, he died so that we might have Christmas.

  • descolada9

    Never know when some atheist might try shooting Santa down

  • Blake Waymire

    If Santa is anything like he is in the Guardians of Childhood series, he doesn’t need the escort. But probably thinks it’s awesome anyway.

  • John Rebori

    For years, NORAD Santa tracking has had him escorted by Canadian fighters as he approached Newfoundland. Now that he also has fighter escort in US territory is when they choose to complain?

    That means it isn’t the fighter escort they oppose, it’s the US fighter escort.

  • Al Waishard

    Santa needs an attack wing of his own,..the ‘Left-waffe’ has been trying to shoot him down for decades.

    • bedfordthegreat

      I am sooooo using the term “Leftwaffe” for now on.

      • Al Waishard

        Bedfordthegreat: By all means please do – Derision is a great weapon,..

  • Brett McMicken

    That’s all well and good, but, is he still white? If not, that escort could have profiling implications….

    • Doc Farmer ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Hi. Part time elf here. Yes, he’s white.

      However, after a ride like last night’s, his cheeks do get a bit rosy…

  • Doc Farmer ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Did it ever occur to some of these knuckleheads that a fighter escort is a sign of respect? Along with the wing-waggle salute?

  • Chris Mears

    I wonder if these people know that NORAD is part of the military?

  • Sinjun

    it’s not like this kind of thing is new.. i remember seeing similar videos when i was young.

  • des111168

    Do these ****wits know what NORAD is an acronym for? North American Air Defense command: radar-directed air defense of Canada and the United States. You do that with fighter planes.

  • aegean1

    Why aren’t the jets armed? Lame. They need to be able to shoot down the Grinch!

  • James Henderson

    The whole issue is kind of dumb considering the fact that santa is probably traveling faster than light lol, doubt those jets are gonna be keeping up.

  • http://www.GONINERS.com/ Kristine ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Eh, it doesn’t upset me or anything, but I really don’t see the point of it. No reason to have the jets there.

  • ICOYAR

    War on Christmas becomes literal

  • AZGunslinger

    It’s a good idea because Heaven forbid any good minded Muslim terrorists with a nuclear weapon highjack his sleigh and crash it into the Capitol building and kill all of our politicians & bureaucrats. How would the country ever manage to go on without all of our politicians & bureaucrats?!?!?!?! My gosh! What would we do without all of our blessed jackbooted IRS employees?!?!

  • Ted H.

    We got a red sleigh down, over…

  • Kabong30

    The real question: Are the pilots white or black?

  • H50 ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Folks need to lighten up. I think its cool.

  • Markward

    OH For crying out loud. There were no real aircraft involved. People need to relax.

    • sez-who

      Huh. Next thing you’ll be saying there’s no Santa Claus. Some people . . !

  • digitalPimple

    Did we get confirmation from the pilots on Santa color?

  • Patrick Chester

    ?!
    I’m guessing no one who wrote that bothered to read the original tale. IIRC, the whole thing started because of a “Call Santa” thing that was published in a local Colorado Springs newspaper, except the published number was incorrect. Instead of leading to a line with an actor playing Santa, it led to the phone for the Operations center or similar for Norad’s predecessor.
    The officer on duty quickly realized what had happened and decided to go along with it by having his people track Santa for the kids…. and a tradition was born.
    Some people just have to suck the joy out of everything in life.

    • sez-who

      I didn’t know that. Thank you for sharing; I feel much better now about something I always thought was a colossal waste of time and money.

      • Patrick Chester

        …I’d thank you for your kindness but I somehow doubt you’re being very kind.

        • sez-who

          That was a genuine thank you. I thought it was interesting and, under the circumstances, the tracking now makes a little sense. They wasted some money and some time to avoid wasting more money and time, and breaking little hearts to boot.

          • http://www.FunDMental.com TheRealJackpineSavage

            See? Christmas Miracles Do happen. Folks who normally never agree on anything find common ground. :o)

  • stuckinIL4now

    I’m with the tweeter who pointed out that kids think fighter jets are cool so that’s okay with me. But what I really want to know is why does Santa deliver so many presents to places like Iran and Egypt–haven’t they killed or kicked out all the Christians?

  • Kevlaur

    I’m upset that it isn’t an F-22.

  • Conservative First

    There was a time when kids liked playing soldier, and liked flying little toy jets.

  • Ken Alan Draper

    and if some muslim terrorist shot santa down with a stinger I suppose that would make the uber libs happy? jeez what a bunch of passive-aggressive jerks.

  • Tre

    Nice to know there are a couple of men up there willing to lay down their lives protecting Santa Clause from anyone screaming “Allah Akbar” as they try to crash a hijacked airliner into his sleigh.

  • Kay Headley

    Of course, Santa needs the fighter jet escort. Gotta protect him from the war on Christmas by the ACLU and atheists.

  • Jay Stevens

    Depends on the purpose of the fighters. If they are escorting, cool; if intercepting, upsetting.

    And the F-18’s are probably CF-18’s, because Santa is still probably still over Canada.

  • Rich

    Another example of government waste. lol

  • Steven A

    Hate to break it to all the hippies out there, but 5-9 year old boys are going to like fighter jets and think they’re cool. Two reasons: One, they are cool. And two, they’re noisy, fast, and shiny, making them three for three of “things little boys love.”

    Also, why shouldn’t NORAD attach a military icon to the Santa Tracker? For years they did the tracker as a half-joke half-reminder they exist. Yes, Virginia, the Santa Tracker you’ve enjoyed for years is courtesy of the Defense Department, and mostly by volunteers within DoD.

    Lastly, the smart thing to do would be not to attach Santa to the military, but to attach the military to keeping safe the things we love and cherish, even if that means working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But you’d have to not hate the military to have that opinion.

  • Right Wired ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Considering Santa was shot in DC a few days ago, I’d say it’s called for