ASBP: Guam Submarine Squadron Hosts Blood Drive
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Guam Submarine Squadron Hosts Blood Drive

03/12/2018
By Navy Lt. Lauren Spaziano, Commander, Submarine Squadron 15
PITI, GUAM (March 1, 2018) – Phlebotomist Deo Patague draws blood from Electronics Technician (Nuclear) 1st Class Dirk Limon during a mobile blood drive at Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 15, March 1. Blood donations were accepted from 30 volunteers in support of the Armed Services Blood Program Guam mobile blood drive hosted by SUBRON 15 at Polaris Point. (U.S. Navy photo by Lieutenant Lauren Spaziano/Released)
PITI, GUAM (March 1, 2018) – Phlebotomist Deo Patague draws blood from Electronics Technician (Nuclear) 1st Class Dirk Limon during a mobile blood drive at Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 15, March 1. Blood donations were accepted from 30 volunteers in support of the Armed Services Blood Program Guam mobile blood drive hosted by SUBRON 15 at Polaris Point. (U.S. Navy photo by Lieutenant Lauren Spaziano/Released)
Service members, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and family members from ships and submarines stationed on Guam came out in support of a mobile blood drive hosted at Polaris Point, March 1.

Commander, Submarine Squadron 15 partnered with the Armed Services Blood Program to host the drive at the COMSUBRON 15 headquarters building.

"The squadron building is a great central location for Sailors and civilians to come donate blood, and I was excited to organize the blood drive for the waterfront," said Fire Control Tech. 2nd Class Elbert Robinson. "The ASBP provides a vital service when unfortunate situations arise with service members and their families. It's great knowing our donations directly impact a shipmate’s life."

Robinson is assigned to the COMSUBRON 15 medical department. He coordinated the blood drive because of his passion for helping others and the squadron’s affiliation with the Guam-homeported submarines and submarine tenders.

"Donating blood has been an integral part of my life since I was old enough to donate," said Robinson. "It's easy to do in the military, especially with so many blood drives and the ease of access to the naval hospital on Guam."

Each volunteer filled out a questionnaire and took a seat to wait for their turn with the ASBP phlebotomy staff from U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.

"I try to donate blood as often as I can," said Machinist’s Mate Fireman Devin Mason. "Each donation makes a real impact and can save someone’s life."

Mason was one of 30 volunteers who donated blood during the mobile drive at COMSUBRON 15. ASBP Guam received a total of 25 complete units and one partial unit. The mobile blood drive serves as a vital lifeline to the ASBP and with the help of commands like COMSUBRON 15, tens of thousands of units of blood has been transfused on the battlefield in over a decade.

"It’s great to see Sailors donating blood and platelets during these mobile drives," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Michael Atkinson. "Donating blood is underrated and provides such an important resource for the ASBP and hospitals helping our service members. I've been on the other side as a blood banker during a trauma and seen the importance of these donations in saving someone’s life."

In addition to weekly mobile blood drives, USNH Guam also conducts apheresis donations on site, which is the process of giving only the components of blood needed for patients that day. Instead of donating a pint of blood as a whole, the donor’s blood is run through a machine that separates the components of their blood; the parts not needed for patients are immediately returned to the donor during the donation.

"As the leading petty officer of the blood donation center, I handle all the daily tasks associated with running the donor center at USNH Guam," said Hospital Corpsman Seaman Randall Johnson. "Maintaining blood inventory is the most important task, as we supply the hospital and special operations. Without sites like COMSUBRON 15, supporting our mission here on Guam and throughout the Pacific would be impossible."

The ASBP has served as the official military provider of blood products to the U.S. armed forces since 1962. They collect, process, store and distribute blood and blood products such as packed red blood cells, platelets and frozen plasma to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide in peace and war.

COMSUBRON 15 teamed up with ASBP to host a blood drive in 2017 and plans to host more in the future in hopes of encouraging maximum participation to help fellow service members. In addition to those that regularly give, those who have rare blood types and new check-ins are encouraged to participate. In total there are more than 20 ASBP donation centers between Army, Navy and Air Force facilities worldwide.

To donate blood at the next drive near you, visit the ASBP donor registration site at www.militaryblood.dod.mil or contact you nearest military medical treatment facility.

COMSUBRON 15 is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam in Apra Harbor, Guam, and consists of four Los Angeles-class attack submarines. The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support to these commands. Also based out of Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Frank Cable (AS 40) and USS Emory S. Land (AS 39). The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are readily capable of meeting global operational requirements.

About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest. Find the drop. Donate.

The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award for journalism.

This article was originally published on DVIDS website, March 7, 2018. Republished content may have been edited for length, clarity and to follow the ASBP style guidelines. View the original article here.