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AFTER Defence members made a
record-breaking 3295 donations in last
year's Defence Blood Challenge, VCDF
AIRMSHL Mark Binskin has set a new
target of 4000.
In its fifth year, the challenge runs
from September 1 to November 30 and
is an opportunity for personnel, friends
and family members to give the life-sav-
ing gift of blood and plasma.
The Defence Blood Challenge is
Australia's largest blood donation event
and has produced more than 8000 dona-
tions -- potentially saving more than
"We already make a significant con-
tribution and it is pleasing to see our
people extend the spirit of our service to
support the Australian Red Cross Blood
Service," AIRMSHL Binskin said.
"I encourage all Defence personnel
and families to donate during the chal-
Last year, Navy recorded 533 dona-
tions, while Army took out the challenge
with 1191 donations.
Navy ambassador POB Cartrena
Skinner said it was important for Navy to
donate to lead by example.
"As Defence personnel, we give back
every day we serve and I see Defence
personnel as role models within the
community. By giving back through the
blood challenge we have the opportunity
to encourage the wider community to
follow our example," she said.
"These donations are essentially sav-
ing someone's life. The way I see it, it
could be someone I know and love.
"Wouldn't you try that little harder
for someone you love?"
She said it was also a chance for
Navy to try to beat the other services.
"As a proud member of the senior
service, I strongly encourage other Navy
personnel to assist me in showing our
sister services what Navy personnel are
capable of," she said.
VCDF ups the ante
for blood donations
NAVY and the Defence Materiel
Organisation recently completed the
final operational acceptance trial for
the Australian-designed phased array
radar and combat management sys-
tem upgrades to the Anzac-class frig-
ate anti-ship missile defence (ASMD)
The trial included a number of
successful evolved sea sparrow mis-
sile (ESSM) firings from HMAS
Perth at the Pacific Missile Range
Facility in Hawaii.
During the trials, the ASMD sys-
tem was challenged by a number of
demanding firing scenarios. These
included successful missile engage-
ments against multiple sea-skimming
targets including, for the first time
in the Navy, an engagement by an
ESSM against one of the world's
most advanced supersonic targets.
CO Perth CAPT Lee Goddard
said the firing clearly demonstrated
the effectiveness of the upgraded
"The targets were detected by the
Australian designed and built CEA
phased array radar and the missiles
were successfully launched and con-
trolled in flight by the ship's ASMD
systems, resulting in the destruction
of the targets," CAPT Goddard said.
"This proves the accuracy and
precision of the upgraded systems
to guide the weapon in a complex
Perth is the first of eight Anzac-
class frigates to enter the ASMD
upgrade to improve her weapons sys-
tems and sensor arrays.
CN VADM Ray Griggs said the
upgrade provided the Anzac-class
with a significantly enhanced level
of self and local area defence against
modern anti-ship missiles."
"The complexity of the firing sce-
narios is unsurpassed in Navy's histo-
ry, particularly the successful firings
against supersonic targets," CN said.
"The results from this activity are
a ringing endorsement of the capabili-
ty flowing from the ASMD program."
FIRED UP: An Evolved Sea Sparrow
Missile (ESSM) is fired from HMAS
Perth at the Pacific Missile Range
Facility in Hawaii (above) and the
missile in flight (right).
CHALLENGE IS ON: SBLT Bernard
Hollis, of HS Blue, with Blood Drop
Bill, donates plasma at the Cairns
Blood Donor Clinic.Photo: CPO Daniel Carter
Participants can donate through their
local Red Cross donor collection centre
or at the mobile blood banks that will be
visiting Defence bases and sites through-
out the Blood Challenge.
Whole blood donors can give blood
every 12 weeks, while plasma and plate-
let donors can donate as often as every
2-3 weeks. This means participants could
record up to four donations for their
nominated service during the challenge.
Most people can give blood if they
are fit, healthy and not suffering from a
cold, flu or other illness at the time of
donation or in the previous week.
On the day, be sure to stay hydrated
and have at least three good-sized glasses
of water or juice and something to eat in
the three hours before donating.
To make sure your donation counts, register
for Navy online at www.donateblood.com.au/
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