PITI, Guam (NNS) -- Service members, Department of Defense (DoD) 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 (COMSUBRON) 15 partnered with the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) 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 Technician 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 donation 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, more than 150,000 units of blood have been transfused on the battlefield in the last 12 years.
"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, U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam also conducts apheresis (ABC) 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 ABC 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 site at http://www.militarydonor.com/ 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.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 15, visit http://www.csp.navy.mil/css15, www.navy.mil/local/subron15/, and http://www.facebook.com/SubmarineSquadron15/.
Are you interested in taking orders to Guam? Want to learn more about the duty station and life on the island? For more information, check out the "Go Guam!" website at http://www.csp.navy.mil/go-guam/ and download the "1st Fifteen" checklist.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.