Former top naval officer in Norfolk busy tracking Santa

Posted at 6:33 PM, Dec 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-24 18:33:02-05

Colorado Springs, Colorado (WTKR) - The former top naval officer in Hampton Roads has a new job this Christmas Eve: Tracking Santa.

Admiral Bill Gortney served as the Commander of United States Fleet Forces in Norfolk until November when he became commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs.

Since 1955, NORAD has tracked Santa Claus’ journey around the world using radar, jet fighters and special cameras.

"Well it's a no fail mission. I’m here to tell you. People when I was first announced to come out here and take command they said 'Don’t mess this up!' So we are working really hard," Admiral Gortney said Wednesday.

According to NORAD's projections, Santa should arrive in Hampton Roads between 9 p.m. and midnight Christmas Eve and Admiral Gortney assured NewsChannel 3 that he would get some help from America's Navy.

"Absolutely you know those F-18s out of Oceana will be escorting Santa to make sure he gets there safely," he said.

You can track Santa's journey around the world here.