News: Australian Defence Force troops donate blood
ROCKHAMPTON, Queensland, Australia - Despite the high tempo of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2011, 25 Australian Army personnel rolled up their cam sleeves to donate blood at the Rockhampton Base Hospital Blood Bank July 26.
Squadron 2IC for 30th Force Support Squadron, Capt. Dan Rojo, 10 Force Support Battalion, arranged the hospital visit and said that soldiers and officers from various units jumped at the opportunity to give something back to the Rockhampton community.
“This is a good way for Defence personnel to give something back to the people of Rockhampton, who have been so generous and supported us during TS11,” Rojo said.
“We decided to give up some of our spare time during the exercise to walk in and donate. Hopefully the blood we give will help people in the local community.”
Operations Officer for 30FSS, Lt. Ryan Barwick, 22, 10FSB, said it was his first time giving blood.
“Captain Rojo asked for volunteers, and I thought it was a good opportunity to start donating,” Barwick said. “Honestly, I’m not sure why I haven’t donated before. I’m not nervous. I even get a tasty muffin afterwards.”
Troop Commander of 552 Troop, Lt. Josh Kam, 22, 17th Signal Regiment, said his unit encouraged him to donate.
“I used to donate all the time, but for some reason, I stopped. It was convenient to come in today with my unit, so I have decided to get back into it and make regular donations again,” Kam said.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service supplies almost 400 units of blood annually to Australian Defence Force troops in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. Six units of O positive and eight units of O negative blood are sent to both areas of operations every two weeks. Additionally, the Australian Red Cross Service is working closely with the ADF to develop deployable frozen blood products to support troops serving in Afghanistan.