The Beginning of a Great Holiday Tradition

December 21, 2017

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” 1955 when a misprinted Sears Roebuck & Co. newspaper ad featuring a direct dial in number for kid’s to chat with Santa turned out to be the U.S. – Soviet alert hotline to the Colorado HQ of America’s Air Defense Command. The top secret hotline, used only in national emergencies, alerted the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) if the USSR attacked!

Fortunately a wise and savvy U.S. Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, CONAD’s director of operations, grabbed the red emergency phone fully prepared to react to an imminent attack. On the other end of the line, he heard a trembling six year-old boy’s voice ask in wonder, “Are you really Santa Claus?” Colonel Shoup, hoping it was a prank, snapped, “Would you repeat that?” A whimpering voice began to cry, then timidly asked, “Is this one of Santa’s elves, then?”

That tiny voice was only the first of many as kids thinking they were connecting directly with Santa ringing off the hook with kids lined up by wire to say Hi and ask for goodies from Santa. Colonel Shoup “corrected course” and became a convincing Santa. He rose to the rare occasion by turning Cold War-era radar operators into North Pole elves— playing along by scanning monitors for indications of Santa time of arrival across North America. And that’s how the U.S. mighty military became an official Santa tracker.

Today, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD, CONAD’s successor) is a bi-national U.S. and Canadian organization tasked with aerospace warning and control. As a frontline in homeland defense, its slogan is “Deter, Detect, Defend.” But its most famous and favorite mission is watching the winter skies for the “big red one,” much as it has done since Col. Shoup answered the phone over 60 years ago.

You and your family can come to “Santa’s Village” today via the internet by simply typing in your search bar noradsanta.org. where kids can visit Santa’s interactive Village, listen to the US Air Force Academy Band play “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, track Santa on the fly with a mobile app.

Using the same technology used to perform their day-to-day mission— satellites, high-powered radars and jet fighters— NORAD tracks Santa Claus as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.”

NORAD’s sleigh of different high-tech systems is used to read Rudolph’s infrared nose signature, capture high-speed video around the globe, and provide Santa and his reindeer with a NORAD fighter pilot escort. Fun fact to impress people at your holiday party: satellites and radar once clocked Santa’s flying delivery cart at 100 times faster than the Japanese bullet train.

Join in the fun this holiday by dropping into the North Pole, and enjoy listening to the Musical Stage” recording of over 25 memorable Christmas time tunes. Check out the NORAD gift shop and even learn how NORAD keeps America Safe, 24/7 through the committed effort of “America’s Finest”, the U.S. Military.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

Want to Know More about NORAD and the U.S. Air Force History? Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Stories and Strategies of America’s Military in Action

June 28, 2017

Experience a Special Collection of U.S. Military stories and publications featuring topics ranging from Civil War battle engagements; to Vietnam and recent Middle East conflicts; plus, insightful articles analyzing and interpreting global political and socio-economic issues facing America’s leaders today.

Titles in the collection are written by knowledgeable military and strategic thinkers who offer readers their professional insights regarding the strategies and decision-making realities facing our military and elected officials.

Whether you’re a military leader, history buff, contractor, government official, or concerned American, these are titles you’ll want to own and read to gain deeper understanding of the thought processes behind American military strategies and actions.

Click here to download Stories and Strategies of America’s Military in Action

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


The U.S. Government’s Santa-Tracking Mission

December 19, 2016

‘Twas Christmas eve 1955 when a misprinted Sears Roebuck & Co. newspaper ad directed kids to a Soviet alert hotline instead of Santa’s direct dial. The top secret hotline that was used only in national emergencies to alert the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) if the USSR attacked. Wrong red phone!

Old Norad Tracks Santa posterOn the receiving end, U.S. Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, CONAD’s director of operations, grabbed the red emergency phone and braced for an imminent attack. Instead, a little 6 year-old boy’s voice trembled over the phone, “Are you really Santa Claus?” Shoup, thinking it was a prank, barked, “Would you repeat that?” The little voice started to cry, then hesitantly asked, “Is this one of Santa’s elves, then?”

Soon the phone began ringing off the hook with kids wanting to gab with Santa. Col. Shoup played along. He even turned his team of Cold War-era radar operators into North Pole elves—they scanned monitors for indications of Santa on the move. And that’s how the U.S. Government got into the business of Santa tracking.

Today, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD, CONAD’s successor) is a bi-national U.S. and Canadian organization tasked with aerospace warning and control. As a frontline in homeland defense, its slogan is “Deter, Detect, Defend.” But its most famous and favorite mission is watching the winter skies for the “big red one,” much as it has done since Col. Shoup answered the phone over 60 years ago.

NORAD Celebrating 50 Years bookGuarding What You Value Most: North American Aerospace Defense Command Celebrating 50 Years,” available thru GPO, touches upon how NORAD triangulates Kris Kringle’s course. The publication proudly states that “using the same technology used to perform their day-to-day mission— satellites, high-powered radars and jet fighters— NORAD tracks Santa Claus as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.”

NORAD’s sleigh of different high-tech systems is used to read Rudolph’s infrared nose signature, capture high-speed video around the globe, and provide Santa and his reindeer with a NORAD fighter pilot escort. Fun fact to impress people at your holiday party: satellites and radar once clocked Santa’s flying delivery cart at 100 times faster than the Japanese bullet train.

santa-sleighSanta positioning updates were originally delivered over the radio and through the Santa Tracking hotline. In 1997, the operation leapt onto the internet. A few years ago, NORAD teamed up with tech companies to release a set of free apps. If you download the tracking app, you can receive notifications of the Santa’s globetrotting whereabouts.

Want to track jolly St. Nick and his sleigh-pullers on Christmas Eve? Visit NORAD’s multilingual Santa site. It’s soundtracked with some pretty groovy holiday music, too. And while clicking around, do visit GPO’s Online Bookstore and check out that NORAD history publication there waiting for you. Unlike Santa, it requires no high-tech tracking.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


National Aviation Day

August 18, 2016

August 19th is National Aviation Day, a yearly observance to celebrate the history and development of aviation. Another fun fact: the day is also Orville Wright’s birthday!

GPO makes available a wide range of Federal Government publications about flight.

First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane

024-005-01212-5Twelve seconds in the air turned into over 100 years of aviation progress. In December 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright stuck their first—and the world’s first—successful flight in a heavier-than-air, mechanically controlled machine. The sibling inventors behind the defining technology of the last century are the subject of this National Park Service handbook. In his forward, astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn defers to the duo as the “first astronauts. Their initial short flight opened our quest to reach beyond the world we know. They were the first test pilots.” A foolhardy flying machine became a phenomena of human achievement. The Wright Brothers made their home above the world and consequently changed the world.

Logbook of the Signal Corps No. 1: The United States Army’s First Airplane (eBook)

Indeed the Wright Bros. invention changed the world. And changed the U.S. Army. This book tells the story of a self-taught aviator and his Wright flyer responsible for the launch of military airpower. In 1909, the U.S. Army Signal Corps paid $30,000 to Orville and Wilbur for a custom-made aircraft designated “Signal Corps No. 1.” A plucky young lieutenant with no prior flying experience was elected its sole operator. “Take plenty of spare parts,” a commanding officer told 1st Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois, “and teach yourself to fly.” Through industrious trial and error and long-distance guidance from the Wright Brothers, Foulois learned to fly the Army’s very first airplane. Read this book and then go visit the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in DC. There you will find the original Signal Corps No. 1, a beautifully restored piece of Army aviation history.

The Combat Edge

708-051-00313-5This quarterly publication of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command features articles and stories about flight safety. As aviation technology evolves to enhance combat capability, so must risk mitigation. Thus, ACC’s safety magazine looks to “foster a culture where Airmen strive for zero mishaps.” Developing this sort of discipline keeps safety standards high so that top guns can continue to “Aim High … Fly-Fight-Win.”

The Air Almanac for the Year 2016 (eBook)

008-054-00245-5For millennia, navigators have been using the stars to chart their course. Aircraft rely on similar celestial navigation. The Air Almanac contains astronomical data produced by The U.S. Naval Observatory in collaboration Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office in the U.K. Published annually since 1941, this cosmic directory tabulates statistics at 10-minute intervals to a precision of 1 arcminute. Predictions include Greenwich hour angles; lunar rise and set times; sky diagrams for each month; charts for moon visibility and star positions; and sunrise, sunset, and twilight tables.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

 


Art and the Air Force: Top Guns Above the Clouds

March 23, 2016

Air Force art is a particular species of art. Limitless blue-skies yonder. Wispy white contrails. Gunners encased in gunmetal. Strategic bombing campaigns. Official portraits of commanders. And so much more.

9780160926617008And that so much more is honorably captured in ‘A Magnificent Showcase: History, Heritage, and Art: The United States Air Force and the Air Force Art Program.’ Authors Timothy R. Keck and designer Lori Ann Dawson show how the Air Force Art Program illuminates and preserves the heritage of the aerial warfare service of the U.S. Armed Forces. Part art piece, part historical compendium, the book’s watercolors and oil paintings showcase both machine and man of the “Aim High … Fly-Fight-Win” branch.

Each artist’s portrayal of Air Force servicemen and servicewomen show an enthusiastic championing of aircraft meets artful craft. The hefty tome features full-page scenes of battle-ready bombers rocketing over bucolic fields, fly boys on reconnaissance missions, and the fiery hazards of war. The wide, stratospheric pages are inset with vignettes of historical milestones such as the Tuskegee Airmen, Berlin Airlift, Pacific island raids, and Desert Storm.

Ah oh the pop-out spread of colors!  The apricot-colored sundown of William Phillips’ ‘Fifty Miles Out’, the algae-green fields of Randy Green’s ‘The Bridge Busters—397th Bomb Group,’ and the alpenglow-purple of Michael Machat’s ‘Habu’s Last Hurrah’ are all standout.

The introduction to ‘A Magnificent Showcase’ includes a circa-1960s quote from former Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, General Curtis LeMay, who wrote: “To posterity, these paintings will furnish a priceless pictorial history of our Air Force in a brilliant era.” The general phrased it perfectly. There’s really nothing more to add then to say it’s simply a magnificent book.

9780160925634P.S. You can continue your exploration of U.S. military art with this beauty: In the Line of Duty: Army Art, 1965-2014. It’s rich with soldier-artist pieces depicting the warfare operations of Vietnam through twenty-first century Iraq and Afghanistan. Raw grit and real courage.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


A Force Behind ‘Total Force’

December 11, 2015

December 13th is recognized as the birthday of the National Guard. A historic military organization that began in 1636 as a Massachusetts colonial regiment, it is now the oldest constituent of the U.S. Armed Forces. You could say that it’s the grandfather of citizen-soldier reserve components such as the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

With that birth story in mind, let’s turn our heads to AATC, a U.S. Air Force aircraft test facility located in Tucson, Arizona. It’s the subject of a gov pub entitled “Relevance Through Innovation: The History of the Air National Guard-Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC).” It is an innovation hub for airmen and civilians from Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and the Air Force to find “cost-effective but cutting edge technology to improve the ARC’s combat capability and add value to the Total Force.”

008-070-00866-1The book details the testing facility’s inception, workforce challenges, leadership changes, and milestones. Over the years, AATC has endeavored to use new and old tech approaches to produce combat capability improvements. The mettle of a modernized mission-ready fleet is tested at this highly functional proving ground.

Author David P. Anderson writes of AATC’s extensive history: “It illustrates the true spirit of innovation that helped it acquire and sustain operation relevance to the Air Force.” When you read the book, you begin to appreciate how the facility represents more than just testing and technology. Several chapters touch upon the many years it took for AATC to cultivate its strengths and overcome the limitations of bureaucracy.

The facility is a success story of military transformation. Through testing and evaluation, AATC equips a fighting force to protect and defend the United States. Talk about a considerable force behind ‘Total Force.’

How do I obtain this publication?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Honoring our Nation’s Military

July 28, 2015

armedforceslogo

While there are many holidays during the course of the year honoring our brave men and women in uniform, we sometimes don’t need a special day to say “thank-you” for all they do for our country. To help celebrate the accomplishments of the armed forces, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) offers a wide variety of publications and resources on our nation’s military.

In GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys), you can find a variety of documents related to the military. For example, the official record of President Obama’s authentication of Military Spouse Appreciation Day for May 8th is available, and you can read the President’s remarks on military members and their families. There is also a proclamation by President Obama entitled Armed Forces Day, 2015, where he thanks our military service members for their dedication to the United States and establishes May 16th as Armed Forces Day. Another document of interest is the Congressional Hearing regarding providing support for Veterans. The hearing, “From Military Service to Small Business Owners: Supporting America’s Veteran Entrepreneurs,” centers around giving veterans more opportunity and training in terms of running a business. By searching “Armed Forces Day” in FDsys, you can look at the various proclamations made by past Presidents, as well as any other related documents.

Using GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) you can access many military-related documents and publications. For example, a paper from the National Defense University titled “China Moves Out: Stepping Stones toward a new Maritime Strategy,” details the evolving tactics employed by the Chinese in their naval defense of their territory. For the techies, you might enjoy the free eBook, “Army Support of Military Cyberspace Operations: Joint Contexts and Global Escalation Implications.” Another piece of interest is called “New Realities: Energy Security in the 2010s and Implications for the U.S. Military.” This document from the U.S. Army War College focuses on the evolution of energy markets throughout the world and how the U.S. armed forces would likely respond. Search the CGP for other military-related documents and publications.

GPO also offers a great collection of military magazines and journals on its U.S. Government Bookstore. From a monthly subscription about the Navy to a single issue on the Air Force, the GPO Bookstore has every publication you need to stay up-to-date on our Nation’s armed forces. Some of the best-sellers include:

MILITARYREVIEWMAY2015108Military Review – An Army-written bimonthly publication focusing on the ever-changing tactics of land warfare.

SPECIALWARFAREAPRIL2015093Special Warfare – Aims to discuss various special-operations forces strategies, doctrine, and more (released by the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg).

Layout 1Citizen Airman – Revolves around the various news and articles published by the Air Force Reserves for commercial media.

708-090-00077-8Joint Force Quarterly: A Professional Military Journal – Designed for national security professionals in and out of the U.S. Government to promote understanding of the integrated employment of land, sea, air, pace, and special operations forces.

Approach_2015_May-June_Page_01Approach: The Navy & Marine Corps Aviation Safety Magazine – Contains stories, editorials, and accurate information currently available on the subject of aviation accident prevention and safety practices.

 

 

 

While you relax poolside or next to the grill this summer, stay connected with GPO, and stay connected with the country.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

You can obtain the resources mentioned in this blog by clicking on the links above or through any of these methods:

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Giovanni Salvatori is a Summer Intern in GPO’s  Library Services & Content Management office.

 


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