50 graduate Fatima Girls High School

Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)

Polish and US Forces bond through weapons

Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)

TF Duke Soldiers volley for peace

U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)

Nurgaram District leaders electrify Nangaresh schools

Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)

10th CAB Soldiers bring communications to Bagram’s east side

U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)

ANA, Red Bulls search Parwai during Operation Brass Monkey

An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)

Female engagement teams trained to aid communication with Afghan women

U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)

ANA, TF Storm break trail, make difference in Kharwar

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)

Ky. ADT II begins Panjshir sheep parasite project

Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)

Engineer Soldiers deliver aid to Afghans

An Afghan carrying a child approaches U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Peter Moeller of Atkins, Iowa, a medic with Task Force Red Bulls, for humanitarian aid at Qale-Mussa Pain Middle School (click for more)

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PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Sgt. Jessica Amador, a lab technician for the 7220th Blood Support Detachment and a Red Granite, Wis., resident, checks the progress of a blood platelet donation by U.S. Army Capt. Naomi Skinner of Ft. Lewis, Wash., at the Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig, Joint Theater Hospital on Bagram Airfield here Feb. 11. Skinner, an environmental science officer for Task Force 62 Medical Brigade, donates every other week at the blood detachment clinic located in Craig Hospital. The clinic is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for donations. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Adrian Sean Taylor, Task Force Archer)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan.  U.S. Army Capt. Naomi Skinner, an environmental science officer for Task Force 62 Medical Brigade from Ft. Lewis, Wash., takes a break from her job to lie down and watch a video in the middle of the day Feb. 11.

Skinner is not just taking a break. She is providing a very important service for fellow Soldiers in Afghanistan: donating blood platelets at the 7220th Blood Support Detachment unit located in the Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig Joint Theater Hospital on Bagram Airfield.

All service members can assist the 7220th BSD with their mission by donating platelets.

“I donate once every other week,” explains Skinner. “I was a regular blood donor in the States and since they do not do regular blood drives here, I chose to donate platelets. It is not painful to donate ... it is my way of helping out and giving back”

Blood platelet transfusions are used by medical staff for trauma patients who require massive blood transfusions. Platelets help control bleeding by promoting clotting also known as hemostasis.

“I average about five donors a day. Not all Soldiers make their appointments due to missions, but we understand,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Jessica Amador, lab technician for the 7220th BSD from Red Granite, Wis.

Amador takes pride in her work and takes special care in assuring the donors have a comfortable experience while donating.

“Sgt. Amador was very attentive to my needs,” said U.S. Army Capt. Tracy Page, the transportation officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division from Osceola, Iowa. “She gave me a blanket, offered me snacks and helped me feel relaxed. It was one of the better donating experiences I have had while deployed.”

The collection of blood platelets is just one of many duties performed by members of the 7220th BSD, an Army Reserve Company based out of Arizona. 

“We are responsible to provide collection, storage and distribution of blood products throughout the entire Afghanistan theater of operation,” said U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Maria Espiritu, the 7220th BSD commander and clinical laboratory officer from Charlotte, N.C. “We conduct split-based operations in Bagram and Kandahar and provide for the distribution of blood products to over 37 sites throughout U.S. Forces Afghanistan and one site in Kyrgyzstan. We are the first Army Reserve unit to perform this mission in country and although there are just 14 of us, we get the job done.”

Blood product management and distribution requires special monitoring, shipping and storage. Each type of blood product requires different temperatures for storage and shipment. For example, red blood cells need storage between 1-6 degrees Celsius while fresh frozen plasma requires storage at less than or equal to 18 degrees Celsius.

“We have special containers for shipping called Collins boxes that are able to hold the desired temperature for up to 72 hours without re-icing,” said Espiritu. “We also have smaller boxes called the golden-hour boxes that can be used during emergency evacuations and can hold required temperatures up to 48 hours.”

Even though they are a small company with only 14 people, they have a huge mission ensuring medical staffs throughout Afghanistan have the blood products necessary to save the lives of wounded service members. PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Capt. Maria Espiritu, the 7220th Blood Support Detachment commander and Charlotte, N.C. native, inventories whole blood products at the Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig, Joint Theater Hospital with U.S. Army Spec. Guillermina Fredgren, a lab technician from Tucson, Ariz., at Bagram Airfield here Feb. 11. The 7220th BSD is responsible for the storage and distribution of blood production throughout the entire Afghanistan theater of operation. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Adrian Sean Taylor, Task Force Archer)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 00:58


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Coalition forces engage insurgents in Kapisa

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed seven insurgents in defensive operations in the Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, March 29.

Coalition forces and aircraft responded to an insurgent attack. Four insurgents were killed by air strike and three were killed by direct fire from coalition forces.

All rounds were reported safe and on target. There were no reports of injuries or damages to civilians in the area.

ANSF, ISAF begin major operation in Laghman valley

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Security Forces, partnered with U.S. Task Forces Red Bulls and Phoenix and French Task Force La Fayette, began operations in Galuch Valley, Laghman Province, March 25.

Soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 201st Corps, Afghan National Police’s 202nd Shamshod and the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, TF Red Bulls, supported by the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Phoenix, conducted an air assault into the valley to remove enemy forces. Battle Group Richelieu, TF La Fayette, provided artillery support from Kapisa Province.

While conducting operations, the forces found multiple weapons caches including assorted rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, Russian rockets, materials to make homemade explosives, various other ordnances and communication equipment.  

While moving through the valley, unit leadership met with village elders to discuss the security situation and to allow them to give up insurgents still in the area.

The operation will assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in establishing the valley as a new district giving the Afghan people in the area freedom from the insurgency.   

President Hamid Karzai approved the creation of the additional district and hopes the new district will help improve the security of the area and support the reconstruction effort.

Mohammad Iqbal Azizi, Laghman Province governor, held a press conference March 7 announcing the establishment of a new district located in the valley.

ANSF, TF Bastogne continue operations in Kunar


KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and coalition troops from Task Force Bastogne continued operations in the Shigal District March 18 after clearing the village of Lawsin and the surrounding area.

Afghan leaders, coalition forces look forward

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Leaders from across eastern Afghanistan attended a security conference March 9 at Forward Operating Base Thunder, the home of the Afghan Army’s 203rd Thunder Corps.