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NEWS | April 13, 2020

AAFES supports ARNORTH, service members with mobile store at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

To provide necessities for service members and personnel who are supporting operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service opened a Mobile Field Exchange store at the Mission Training Complex at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston April 6. 

The Mission Training Complex is the primary operations center for U.S. Army North, or ARNORTH, which is leading the Department of Defense response to COVID-19 in the U.S., working with federal partners to provide support to the American people.

Tammar Tracey, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Exchange store manager, said a Mobile Field Exchange store, or MFE, is a temporary mobile store housed in a trailer that provides essential items for customers. ARNORTH requested the facility and is responsible for providing security and diesel fuel for the generator providing electricity for the trailer.

The MFE is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week and provides 150 items for purchase, including snacks, sandwiches, beverages and office and health supplies. Tracey said the mobile store will allow servicemembers and personnel at the Mission Training Complex the convenience of purchasing essential items, without having to go to the main post exchange.

“The Mission Training Complex is a 24-hour operation,” Tracey said. “With the heightened emergency we are currently in, it’s just a convenient way to support ARNORTH because they are working long hours. This is the first time at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston that an MFE has been put into operation.”

The MFE is staffed by five AAFES associates per day, including a manager, stockers and cashiers. It is connected to a storage trailer, which houses merchandise to restock the mobile store when needed. The facility will remain in operation until it’s no longer needed.

Tracey said by opening a mobile store at the Mission Training Complex, AAFES is adhering to its priority of serving active-duty members wherever they are.

“It’s our mission,” she said. “It supports our motto: ‘We go where you go.’”

\Col. Niave Knell, ARNORTH and Joint Forces Land Component Command chief of staff, said ARNORTH is extremely grateful for the support it has received from AAFES for the mobile store.

“Their flexibility and willingness to deploy a mobile store to support us ensures that everyone in our organization can remain focused on helping the American people in this challenging time,” Knell said.