ALAMOGORDO N.M. (KRQE) – As Santa prepares to make his trip around the world, one military base in New Mexico will help him zip through the sky. They are kind of like Santa’s elves but instead of being at the North Pole, they are stationed at Holloman Air Force Base and this year they have a very important mission called “Operation Assist Santa”.
Airmen prepare to help Santa on Christmas Eve with the base’s three primary aircraft; the F-16 Fighting Falcon, MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. They will help escort Santa across the southwest.
“This year in particular we’re gonna help him with our MQ-1 and MQ-9 aircraft to make sure he has censor availability on where children are at,” said Col. Lyle Drew, who is a part of the mission.
They also have other censors that help Santa out as well. The camera on the MQ-1 will be used to make sure that the roofs are acceptable for Santa’s landings. They are also equipped with naughty or nice censors.
The MQ-9 has a sleep censor to make sure that kids are asleep when Santa comes to visit.
The F-16 will be clearing the airways so that Santa can get presents out quickly.
This year Holloman will also be distribution center where Santa can come to pick up presents for boys and girls in the area.
Everyone involved in this very sensitive mission say they are happy to help.
“It’s an honor, it’s an absolute honor to be a part of one of the biggest missions,” said Lt. Josh Earl, who has been training extensively for this mission.
Holloman will also have a backup sleigh ready on base, in the event that there is a problem with Santa’s main one.