By News-Register staff • 

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus . . .

 PORTLAND - The Oregon Air National Guard will be on high alert again this Christmas Eve as they work closely with the United States Air Force and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to monitor the skies and track the annual flight of Santa Claus.

"It is not uncommon for our pilots to fly alongside Saint Nick in the skies this time of year," said Col. Duke A. Pirak, commander of the 142nd Fighter Wing. "He expects to see us and the reindeer have become quite accustomed to flying in formation with our F15s."

Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, spokesperson for the Portland Air National Guard Base, said Santa sighting reports are received every year from the Western Air Defense Sector at McChord Air Force Base in Washington state.

"They report high-speed radar returns from their defense network radar systems. Our F-15 air crews are on continuous alert, so they may be ordered to intercept and investigate anything that can't be positively identified on radar."

That being said, a merry Christmas to all!

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