MADISON – As children across the state wait patiently for Christmas Eve, Governor Scott Walker is directing the Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) to be ready to assist Santa Claus as he delivers presents to all the good boys and girls across Wisconsin.
“We look forward to this mission every Christmas Eve,” Governor 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 Wisconsin National Guard and WEM are ready to respond to help Santa as he travels across the badger state Monday night.
“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.”
According to the 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.
The Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing has F-16’s on alert and ready to assist Santa should the need arrives. The 128th Air Control Squadron, based at Volk Field, Wisconsin, will keep other air traffic out of Santa’s delivery corridors during his brief time in Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Army National Guard stands ready with ground and logistical support to assist this mission as necessary. This includes loading the sleigh with more presents and candy canes.
WEM will provide Santa with up-to-date weather reports for safe travel, as well as current data on snow and ice cover to assist with rooftop landings. In addition, local law enforcement, fire, emergency management, and emergency service agencies from across the state are also ready to assist Santa with directions and extra cookies as he delivers Christmas presents.
You can join ReadyWisconsin and follow Santa as he travels across Wisconsin beginning at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Updates will be posted every five minutes on ReadyWisconsin’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Remember to use the hashtags #SantaAlert and #OperationSanta to track the tweets and interact on social media.