ASBP: USS Gerald R. Ford Remains Anchored to a Lifesaving Mission
Skip NavigationSkip Navigation
Give to the Red White & Blue - The Official Website of the United States Military Blood Program
Clock Symbol Korea
West Coast
Wash D.C.
 Print Button

USS Gerald R. Ford Remains Anchored to a Lifesaving Mission

By Ralph Peters, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Portsmouth, Va
On July 22, 2017, the Navy commissioned its latest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), and went straight to work supporting troops and saving lives. Within a month, the ship had sponsored its first Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) blood drive. And then another in early 2018. Less than a year later after commissioning, the USS Ford, full of dedicated donors committed to helping others, hosted its third ASBP blood drive on June 25.

Over the course of the drives, nearly 200 sailors volunteered their help. 153 donors were able to give blood that would be shipped overseas to deployed Sailors and Marines and also in support of the ship’s walking blood bank roster (WBBR). The WBBR serves as a readily available resource capable of supporting others in an emergency when the ship is underway.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Amarpreet Gill, who served as the June drive’s primary point of contact, said that besides any WBBR requirement, donating was helping those who are deployed and need lifesaving support.

The USS Ford held its third sponsorship solely to provide to those requiring the gift of life and the dedicated donor volunteers shared the motivation of wanting to help those in need.

Navy Lt. Com. Jeffrey Motichka is keenly aware that senior level personnel are needed to assure blood drive successes. “I want to set the example of how to support a shipmate.”

Seaman Jordan Perdue and Petty Officer William Klein said that they both have been donating since high school and have tried to donate at every ship sponsored drive. Petty Officer 3rd Class Teddi Jung, also a repeat donor since high school, cited a favorite teacher whose family member had medical issues as a reason to donate regularly.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas Soss and Petty Officer 2nd Class Kiana Raines both acknowledged that donating meant helping others.

“I try to donate every time because it does not hurt to help someone else,” said Kiana.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Rachel Higel and Petty Officer 3rd Class Hakeem Fleming said that they donate every time they can as it’s a good deed and it does not take much time to donate.

After its first year of Navy work, the ship is slated to return to Huntington Ingalls, the ship yard in Newport News, Virginia, for an extended period, but the Sailors of the USS Ford remain anchored to the mission of the ASBP and encourage others to donate.

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 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.