Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

$30.5 million in federal funding to bring new blood processing lab to Dover Air Force Base.

Delaware Public Media

The Dover Air Force Base is expected to become home to a new blood processing lab supplying the U.S. armed forces.

The $886 billion National Defense Authorization Act includes $30.5 million for a new Armed Services Whole Blood Processing Laboratory to be built at Dover Air Force Base.

The current lab is located in New Jersey in what Sen. Chris Coons describes as an aging, poorly configured facility that no longer meets the U.S. military needs.

“This blood lab is the central, critical provider of blood for overseas personnel for all U.S. Armed Forces," Coons says.

The new lab would replace the current lab in New Jersey, which Coons says supplies blood to armed forces on the entire half of the globe closest to the base.

“At any one time, it holds around 4,000 different blood products," he says. "These are all donated by members of the armed services, and they are used for a wide range of emergency medical procedures both combat-related and peacetime related.”

Coons says it will be more efficient to run the lab in Dover, at largest strategic air command base on the East Coast.

“We have C-5s and C-17s flying out of Dover at a regular clip that are delivering assistance, products, support, to the Combatant Commands for basically half of the world," he says.

Coons says he expects project construction to begin by the end of the calendar year – the $30.5 million for the facility is already earmarked in this year’s appropriations bill, but that is contingent on Congress passing the full-year bill.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.