During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the military resale community stands united in its commitment to support service members and families who rely on exchanges and commissaries for goods and services.
Around the world, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and Coast Guard Exchange (CGX) are mission essential, while the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is mission critical. All told, military resale supports warfighters and their families with 300 main exchanges, 236 commissaries (more than 6,700 facilities) in nearly 40 countries.
The joint buying alliance, signed in early 2019, has enabled exchanges and commissaries to significantly increase orders for high demand items such as cleaning and hygiene products during the pandemic by sharing sources and leads for constrained products.
Additional recent protective measures instituted by military resale to keep communities safe include:
Cleaning and disinfecting stores and restaurants.
“AAFES is fully nested with installation commands to ensure alignment with the Army and Air Force missions,” said AAFES Director/CEO Tom Shull. “Our team stands with military families around the world during this challenging time. Never has the benefit we are honored to provide Soldiers and Airmen been such a force multiplier in protecting the force.”
During the pandemic, AAFES is:
The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) serves the nation’s U.S. Navy Sailors and their families. During times of crisis its core business lines including NEX retail stores, Uniform Program Management Office, the Navy Clothing & Textile Research Facility, the NEXConnect Telecommunications Program Office, Ships Store Program and the Navy Lodge Program all to provide goods and services that directly impact Navy commands, individual Sailor readiness and family morale.
“NEXCOM’s mission is enduring, and remains critical especially during these times of crisis,” said retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, CEO of NEXCOM, who is dual-hatted as the DOD special assistant for commissary operations. “Our command is in lockstep with installation and Navy leadership to help serve as a force multiplier and a sustained readiness enabler for our Navy’s warfighters. NEXCOM’s 14,000 personnel across our six business lines have been hard at work, around the clock ensuring our Sailors and their families have access to essential goods and services during this worldwide crisis.”
Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) is doing its part for its customer base as well.
“Key components of MCCS, such as the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and the Inns of the Corps Lodges, continue to be steadfast in their support during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marine Corps Business and Support Services Division Director/CEO Cindy Whitman Lacy. “Our MCX buying team, through its relationships with our loyal suppliers, has ensured necessary items remain available, especially for those who are living and working on our installations. We understand the urgency of keeping our community fueled, prepped, and supplied better than anyone. In this ever-changing environment and time of constant unpredictability, we aspire for our support to be a stabilizing influence to Marines and their families. Our associates are passionate and committed to keeping clean and safe environments for our customers. They epitomize the term ‘Civilian Marines.’”
CGX is fully engaged with taking care of Coast Guard members.
“CGX associates are working around the clock to keep stores open and sanitized, maintain stocks, and make stores available and safe for authorized patrons,” said CAPT Bruce C. Brown, Commanding Officer of the USCG Community Services Command. “These services are absolutely mission essential given CGX stores’ proximity to many Coast Guard installations with 24/7 Command Centers, ready air crews, duty boat crews, Coast Guard cutters, and, of course, Coast Guard families. CGX products and services are absolutely vital in locations with Coast Guard Family Housing such as Kodiak, Alaska; Astoria, Ore., Staten Island, N. Y.; and Puerto Rico.
Commissaries are mission critical and have leaned forward to care for service members worldwide.
“We want to reassure our valued customers and our dedicated employees that their health and welfare are our No. 1 concern,” Bianchi said. “Our objective right now is to provide military members and their families with necessary goods and to make sure our stores remain safe and clean.”
Actions taken by the commissaries are:
The military resale family stands with military families. The exchanges and commissaries are all in for those who serve.
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For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit www.navy.mil/.