Home' Army News : May 12th 2011 Contents 14 WORLD NEWS
Army May 12, 2011
URUZGAN province's economy and its
people will benefit from greater supply
options and better connection to the rest of
the country thanks to a newly opened, $28
million all-weather airstrip at Tarin Kot.
After a complex 12-month project, the
airfield was converted from a dirt strip to a
1700m concrete, all-weather airstrip capable
of handling heavy-lift aircraft.
A RAAF C-17 was the first aircraft to
use the new runway at its official opening
on April 2.
The Australian Ambassador to
Afghanistan, Paul Foley, who attended the
opening with a number of Afghan dignitaries,
said the airstrip would eventually become an
asset of the provincial government.
"On behalf of Australia, this airfield will
be an investment in the future of Uruzgan,"
A small team of Australian Air Force
engineers, including Sqn-Ldr David Fattore,
supported the US-funded project.
"This was an amazing opportunity to
work on a major airfield expansion in an
operational coalition environment and I will
be able to take these skills back to Australia
and use them in my next job in the Air Force
Improvement Team," Sqn-Ldr Fattore said.
"This airfield will be left for the people
for Uruzgan, so it is a critical piece of infra-
structure for Tarin Kot that will connect it to
other major areas in Afghanistan."
The airfield expansion was regarded as
one of Uruzgan province's largest and most
New blood in Tarin Kot
By Cpl Zenith King
A WALK-in blood bank is up and
running at Multinational Base, Tarin
Kot, opening up opportunities for
ADF personnel to give blood during
The blood bank was opened on
April 10 and so far more than 150
personnel have signed up to begin the
Senior Medical Officer Maj Oscar
Aldridge said the aim of the walk-
in blood bank was to provide more
blood than was currently held at the
medical facility and provide fresh
blood during a trauma situation.
"While we do hold frozen stocks,
there is some evidence that, for peo-
ple who require massive transfusions,
fresh, warm whole blood is best," Maj
"The stored blood is separated into
three different components and when
you mix them back together it is still
not the same as the fresh product.
"The only way for us to achieve
that is through a walk-in blood bank."
Maj Aldridge said due to the iso-
lation of Multinational Base, Tarin
Kot, the blood bank was critical for
supporting troops on the ground.
"When a 'nine-liner' [call for med-
ical evacuation] drops and someone is
identified with major injuries, we will
activate the walk-in blood bank. That
way when they arrive we will have
donors already standing by to provide
fresh blood for transfusion," he said.
"So far every patient who has
arrived alive at the Role 2 hospital has
left here alive. Part of that is due to
our ability to give blood transfusions
"This is something we want to
Nursing Officer Lt Jasmine Poole
said all Defence personnel based at
Tarin Kot could sign up for the pro-
gram, but would need to be screened
for suitability before their blood could
"We start the screening by ask-
ing questions which are quite simi-
lar to those asked by the Red Cross.
We are trying to identify a low-risk
population by selecting people who
can make a declaration that they are
not part of any of the high-risk sub
groups," Lt Poole said.
"From there we call back anyone
eligible to have a blood test done, and
test for HIV, hepatitis and other blood-
"On the day when we actually take
the blood from people, there is a quick
test panel that gives us an answer
within five minutes to confirm those
results are still valid. That way we can
ensure the blood we use for transfu-
sions in Tarin Kot is just as safe as the
blood supply back home in Australia."
Time for giving: Nursing officer Lt Jasmine Poole prepares to take
blood from Cpl Ellen Greig at the new walk-in blood bank in Tarin Kot.
Inset, suitable blood donors are being identified and tested to provide
on-call blood donations in emergencies.
Photos by Cpl Zenith King
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