AAFES Steps In to Fill Needs During Gov't Shutdown
DALLAS -- As the partial government shutdown enters its second week, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service remains open and is seeing higher demand than usual.
"Some of our military installations are located in rural areas, with a few located as far away as a two-hour drive to a major metropolitan area. So when, as result of the government shutdown, the on-base commissaries and other appropriated funded services close, the Exchange is able to step up and provide an outlet for service members to purchase essential items," said the Exchange's Deputy Director Maj. Gen. Joseph S. Ward.
"The Exchange has worked with its vendors to keep Express convenience stores well stocked with customer essential items, such as diapers, bread, milk and frozen food during this period of higher demand as a result of commissary and dining hall closures. (Overseas commissaries remain open)," he added.
The Exchange operates facilities for service members, retirees and their families in more than 30 countries, 50 states and five U.S. territories. Nearly two-thirds of the Exchange's earnings are given back in the form of dividends to the Army and Air Force to support morale, welfare and recreation programs on military installations.
"All of our stores, including our website www.shopmyexchange.com, are open during this government shutdown, providing tax-free shopping with quality products, including name brands at convenient prices too," said the Exchange's Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels. "The Exchange is largely unaffected by the shutdown as it is a non-appropriated funded instrumentality. This means nearly 97 percent of the Exchange's funding is generated by sales and 3 percent from tax dollar support."
The Exchange's facilities, including 131 main stores, 174 military clothing stores, 72 movie theaters, 850 specialty stores (Express convenience stores, gas stations, troops stores, Class Six outlets and bookstores) and 1,590 quick-service restaurants, such as Taco Bell, Subway, Burger King, Popeye's and Starbucks, remain open to support service members and their families during this shutdown.