14:34 PM

Ariz. Wing Expands COVID-19 Blood Drive Scope

Capt. Margot Myers
Public Affairs Officer
Arizona Wing

The Arizona Wing’s COVID-19 emergency blood donation center mission went on the road for the first time to two squadrons outside the Phoenix area the first week in July.

The Eloy Composite Squadron’s blood drive July 1 yielded 27 units of blood, seven more than its goal. The Cochise Composite Squadron held its first blood drive July 7 and collected 42 units.

Lt. Col. Bob Ditch, incident commander for the wing, congratulated the Cochise squadron:. "Your blood donor center broke all existing records. The 42 units of blood collected today is unprecedented."

With 12 blood drives completed and additional donations by wing members at other collection sites, 422 units of blood have been collected. Additional dates have been set for the two Phoenix-area squadrons that have been hosting blood donation centers since the mission began in mid-April. The goal is to collect at least 500 units of blood by Aug. 31, when the blood drive mission is scheduled to end.

The wing has also been delivering meals for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health since mid-June. For this second COVID-related mission, members are transporting prepared meals from a Phoenix distribution point to local hotels where people are in 14-day quarantine. About 80 meals delivered every Saturday and Sunday afternoon during the weekends-only mission.

The wing added a third COVID mission July 9, flying seven coolers filled with test samples from Ryan Airfield near Tucson to the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, where they were headed to a lab for further processing. The new mission originated with a request for assistance from the state Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.

As a Total Force partner and the U.S. Air Force auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically. With this mission members are working as an Air Force component in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity.