ASBP Hosting ‘Arctic Thunder’ Blood Drives in Alaska

  • Published
  • By Victor L. Shermer
  • Armed Services Blood Program

The Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP), the official blood program of the US military, is excited to make its way up to Alaska in August, hosting “Arctic Thunder’ Blood Drives at both Eielson Air Force Base (August 22) and Fort Wainwright (August 23-25); from 0900 – 1600 each of the days. This is a unique opportunity for both military communities to come out and help save lives of fellow service members and their families in need of blood worldwide.

Established 70 years ago, the ASBP is a joint operation among Army, Navy, Air Force and civilian personnel with a mission to provide quality blood products and support to military healthcare operations worldwide. The ASBP collects, processes, stores, transports, and distributes blood to wherever and whenever its needed, in both peace and war.

“We are excited to come up to Alaska and bring this lifesaving opportunity to Eielson AFB and Fort Wainwright,” stated ASBP Division Chief, Navy Capt. Les Riggs. “Every donor and supporter that comes out has the capability to directly impact the lives of service members, their families, retirees, and veterans, from the battlefield to the local military hospital. We’re looking forward to a successful and impactful drive!”

Knowing this, donors are considered the ‘heart’ of the program and are appreciated for taking the time to help.

The goal of the ‘Arctic Thunder’ blood drives is to provide Fort Wainwright and Eielson AFB personnel an opportunity to donate to meet the ongoing mission. There is no replacement for donated blood; it is considered a treatment for those with blood-borne illnesses, helps heal severe burns, provides life stabilizing capability in emergencies and much more.

"Anyone can donate, Soldiers, civilian employees, families, retirees and veterans. We hope to see you come out. The Armed Forces and communities at large are always in dire need," said Army Col. Nate Surrey, U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Fort Wainwright commander. "I'm O negative, a universal donor. I'll be first in line. I try to give as often as I can."

Two ASBP donor centers, Armed Services Blood Bank Center-Pacific Northwest and Tripler Army Medical Center Blood Donor Center, have teamed up to help host the drives and are looking forward to making these drives a huge success. This is a first for both the ASBP and the centers and hoping it becomes a regular drive.

"I encourage everyone who is eligible to donate at the upcoming Arctic Thunder Blood Drive,” said Air Force Col. David Berkland, 354th Fighter Wing commander,

“Please know that donations through the Armed Services Blood Program go directly to service members and families in need, and that one donation can save up to three lives."

Be on the lookout for announcements on social media pages, throughout your installation and for roadside directional signs on the days of the drive.

Want to know more about donating blood or have questions about the drive, please reach out to Victor Shermer at 253-968-1903, or

To find out more about the ASBP please visit To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter  and @usmilitaryblood on Instagram