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MADISON – Governor Scott Walker has directed the Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) to be ready to respond Christmas Eve to ensure Santa is able to deliver presents to all the good boys and girls across Wisconsin.

“This is a special mission we look forward to every year,” Governor Walker said. “We want to make sure Santa has everything he needs, including current weather reports, food and water for the reindeer and extra hot cocoa, candy canes and cookies.”

Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin’s Adjutant General, believes the Wisconsin National Guard and WEM are ready to assist.

“We have been updating our Operation Santa plans and exercising for this big night, and we are ready for this mission,” Dunbar said. “It is our favorite night of the year.”

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 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.

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 to ensure he is able to deliver 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.