MIAMI – With only seven days away for Christmas, hundreds of specialized agents at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs were preparing to track Santa Claus' journey to South Florida.
An Avaya Government Solutions spokesman said Tuesday that 1,250 operators would be ready to provide "timely answers to urgent questions" about Claus' travels, his reindeer and his gift-laden sleigh.
"By communicating one-on-one with a volunteer who has all the details they need, children can head to bed early and rest easy, knowing Santa is on his way," Avaya Government Solutions' Susan Pompliano Keys said in a statement.
Children tracking Santa Claus will be able to call 1-877-446-6723 starting 6 a.m., Dec. 24th.
Meanwhile, there was some controversy Monday about President Barack Obama's statements during a speech that included a bad Santa joke at a New Jersey military base. Obama said that the U.S. military 's C-130 is "a little more efficient than Santa's sleigh."
The North American Aerospace Defense Command's tracking program disproves that. Engineers report that Claus' sleigh is "faster than starlight." That would put the sleigh at 186,000 miles per second, while the C-130's speed is 417 miles per hour.
Claus is fast, but NORAD promises it will be following his every move. Last year, the hotline fielded 117,371 calls during its 23 hours of operation, as millions of users were also following a Google tracking map on the web.
Claus has a busy agenda this week. He is expected to make appearances at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport starting Dec. 22nd. Claus recently told Eric Kaplan, author of "Does Santa Exist? A Philosophical Investigation," that it has "been wicked busy" at the North Pole.
"The elves are trying to unionize again," Claus said.
This has raised some concerns, but elves from The North Pole Elf Union assured The Washington Post that the ongoing negotiations with Santa Claus World Wide Enterprises Inc. would not disrupt the timely delivery of gifts on Christmas.
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