NASNI Commissary to Close During Government Shutdown

Story Number: NNS131002-12Release Date: 10/2/2013 5:15:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samantha J. Webb, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The commissary on Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) is scheduled to close Oct. 2 due to the partial government shutdown that took effect Oct. 1.

According to an email from Joe Jeu, the director of the Defense Commissary Agency, which operates 250 stores worldwide, all U.S. stores will be closed starting Oct. 2, but stores outside the U.S., including Guam and Puerto Rico, will remain open.

More than 40 workers at the commissary on North Island are among the 800,000 federal employees who have been furloughed because of the shutdown.

For one NASNI Commissary employee, this is not the first time she has experienced unpaid time off. During the last government shutdown in 1996, Josie Arbiso was working at a commissary in Hawaii.

"I'm staying positive and making the best of it," said Arbiso.

Arbiso said she that realizes a small portion of her co-workers will be in tough financial situations if the shutdown lasts more than a few days. "Hopefully they have support from family members who can help."

Long lines at the NASNI Commissary less than 24 hours before its scheduled closing were full of service members and families stocking up on food and household goods.

Airman Alex Noori, assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78, who lives on base, said although he can eat most of his meals at the galley, the store closing is still an inconvenience.

"If I need something, I'm going to have to go off base and it's just a hassle," said Noori. "I don't know when it's coming back so I'm preparing for a couple weeks."

Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Ashley Robertson, assigned to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), was just grateful to get her pay check - a result of the Pay Our Military Act, a bill signed into law Sept. 30 to continue paying active duty military and some select federal civilians and contractors during the shutdown.

Robertson said that although groceries at the commissary are usually cheaper, she would rather get paid than have access to the commissary if she had to choose.

The Navy Exchange, the Touch 'n Go Minimart and the AutoPort on NASNI will all remain open during the government shutdown.

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Sailors visit the Naval Air Station North Island commissary before it temporarily closes during the government furlough.
131001-N-IC565-023 SAN DIEGO (Oct. 1, 2013) Sailors visit the Naval Air Station North Island commissary before it temporarily closes during the government furlough. The Defense Commissary Agency, which manages 250 stores worldwide, is scheduled to close all U.S. branches effective Oct. 2 due to the government shutdown. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bradley J. Gee/Released)
October 2, 2013
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