GROTON, Conn. - Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London personnel rolled up their sleeves to save lives and support Connecticut’s American Red Cross Blood Services, during a base-wide blood drive, Oct. 5.

Donors contributed 32 units of blood, which will help save up to 102 lives according to American Red Cross officials.

“There’s a constant need for blood and blood products across the country every single day,” said Michael Delgado, collections team supervisor. “We need to be able to sustain an inventory so we can help people in need when they need it.”

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Austin Keenlance, primary coordinator for SUBASE blood drives, worked directly with the American Red Cross to set up the drive and ensure all necessary COVID-19 precautions and protocols were in place for the safety and well-being of the donors.

“Blood donation stations were at least six-feet apart, facial-coverings were required, and hand-sanitation was provided to all participants,” said Keenlance. “With COVID-19 we wanted to make sure we followed all mitigation efforts to keep everyone safe.”

The blood drive ran smoothly with the support of SUBASE Sailors, civilians, and family members who volunteered and followed the implemented COVID-19 procedures.

Delgado also spoke on the significant relationship between the American Red Cross and the military.

“There’s a good relationship between the American Red Cross and the military,” said Delgado. “Whenever there’s a disaster or the military needs extra supplies of blood, the American Red Cross is always there for them. Opportunities like this drive are a great way for the people on base to give back to the community.”

To learn more about becoming a blood donor visit the American Red Cross website at

Connecticut Media Group