Aside from having a flying mission in common, Saint Nick and USAF also have a mutual support agreement in place. When Santa needs to get somewhere fast he forgoes the sleigh and opts for something a lil quicker, like an F-15. It's been said a C-130 carries more cargo than a sleigh, too. All rumor, of course... but here are some examples of USAF Santa support, originally published in 2007:
From a post of the same name I put up three years ago (hi-res versions of the pics are but a click away):
The folks (all volunteers) in the NORAD "Track Santa" boiler room, last year (2006).
Santa arrives via F-15
Santa arrives in yet another F-15
Santa's Own F-16?
Santa in his A-10
Santa arriving via C-130
One wonders how the ol' guy manages to stay qualified in all these various airframes not to mention passing his annual flight physical. But then again, there's probably a lil bit of Santa Magic at play here...and he does have the requisite flight experience. You can't disregard the thousands upon thousands of multi-engine hours he has in his log book, eh?
(all official USAF photos)
In other news... we're up at oh-dark-thirty today, long before the sunrise. It's all a function of when I go to bed, of course, and we hit the hay at 2030 hours last evening. We still managed to get a full eight hours o' shut-eye, which means we were up at 0430 hrs... for the math-challenged among you.
The WX took a turn for the better and we managed a full outdoor Happy Hour yesterday, enjoying several brews and two... count 'em... TWO cigars. The temps were a lil bit chilly (mid to high-50s) but it was quite warm in the sun, as is the case more often than not here on The High Plains o' New Mexico. We're expecting more o' the same today, with slightly warmer temps. Ho, ho, HO!