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Santa is getting ready for the big ride on Christmas Eve. And children all over the world will track his activity with the NORAD Santa Tracker.  He’ll also have help from the Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM).

The SantaTracker site tells children and parents just how close the man with the presents is from them on Christmas Eve. For now, though, children can explore North Pole Village, which features the NORAD headquarters. The site also has a handy holiday countdown (as if the children aren’t already keeping track), games and activities.

For over 60 years NORAD has been tracking Santa, which started after a newspaper told kids to call Santa direct and misprinted a phone number. Those trying to contact Santa ended up reaching the crew commander instead and that’s how NORAD got into the Santa tracking business.

So how does Santa get around to all of those places in Wisconsin? Governor Scott Walker told the media he has a secret Operation Santa Plan.

“A KC-135 Stratotanker from the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee will link up with Santa in the skies over Lake Superior, providing carrots, reindeer feed and water for the reindeer, as well as hot chocolate and cookies for Santa,” according to a press release from Walker’s Office.

“We look forward to this mission every Christmas Eve,” Walker said. “The last few days everyone has been busy gathering extra reindeer feed, baking Christmas cookies and preparing hot cocoa to make sure Santa has everything he needs while in Wisconsin.”

Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin’s Adjutant General, said the secret plan is in place and he’s to help Santa.

“It’s an exciting night for us. We have been coordinating with the North Pole to make sure we are set for Operation Santa,” said Dunbar. “I have seen the official list for Wisconsin and we owe our best to all the children.”

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.