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AAFES Provides Convenience to Armed Forces

FORT JACKSON, SC -- While many active duty and retired U.S. soldiers who work at Fort Jackson visit the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) convenience store location here because of its convenient, on-post location, competitive prices also keep customers coming in.

Jason Rosenberg, general manager of AAFES Fort Jackson and Shaw Air Force Base, told the Fort Jackson Leader he makes sure customers get a fair deal at the pump by surveying at least five gas stations in the area once a day to set prices at the lowest price recorded for each fuel grade.

"I wanted to show that we're going above and beyond," he said. "We're not just going to pick and choose five gas stations. I'm literally covering every (station) that's near us."

Rosenberg said a surveyor records the price of 11 gas stations to make sure customers get a fair deal.

"Our direct competition is the [gas stations] close by," he said. "A lot of times I get a call from somebody who says, 'I live out by the airport and [gas stations here] are 3 cents cheaper than you.' But that's not our direct competition."

Although regular gasoline retailers may adjust prices several times throughout the day, prices on post remain the same once the daily price is set.

"The gas market is so fluid and the cost prices are different, literally, for every shipment you get. These gas stations ... get multiple shipments per day," Rosenberg told the paper. "We can only take one glimpse in time every day. I do still believe that is a pretty fair way to do it."

And while AAFES is immune from state and local taxes for most items, the stations must pay them for gas.
"Accordingly, AAFES pays state, federal and local motor fuel taxes, as well as underground storage fees, etc. on motor fuel," he said in the report. "The federal and state motor fuel taxes and other applicable fees paid by AAFES are included in the motor fuel price to the military customer and paid to the appropriate taxing authority. That means we're on the same playing field as everybody else. We have to pay the same taxes as [other gas stations] do."

Customers can save at the pump, though, by using its Military Star Card. AAFES offers a discount of at least 5 cents per gallon for cardholders.

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