- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 9, 2015

In a lighter moment at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Tom Cotton posed the question on the minds of every young girl and boy: will the military be diligently tracking Santa Claus on Christmas Eve?

The Arkansas Repulican questioned Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s preparation to track old St. Nick as he delivers gifts around the world on Dec. 24.

“For 60 years, NORAD and the Air Force has been tracking Santa over the skies of North America,” Mr. Cotton said to Gen. Selva with a serious expression, The Hill reported. “Can you assure the boys and girls of this country that NORAD and the Air Force is fully prepared to track Santa once again?”

“I don’t have a complete intelligence report, senator,” Gen. Selva replied. “But I understand that the reindeer have been in fact fed their quantity of oats and are prepared for the delivery of all of those gifts to those who have been nice and not naughty.”

Mr. Cotton, holding back a smile, said it was a “welcome reminder that while most Americans are at home enjoying Christmas with their families, that our airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines, whether they’re in NORAD or around the world, are out there keeping us safe and defending our values and what makes this country great.”

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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