The North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) was created as a joint surveillance service by the American and Canadian governments to protect the North American continent from attack by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  Canada's participation was sought since Russian bombers would fly directly over the North Pole into Canadian airspace to reach U.S. targets.

While NORAD's surveillance mission has pivoted towards monitoring space and other threats post-cold war, they still monitor activity over the North Pole, but for entirely different reasons.

NORAD tracks Santa, his HQ and his activities, then follows him around the globe on Christmas Eve.

Kids (and grown-ups) can follow along at NORADsanta.org