‘Combat Retail’: Exchange Brings Comfort, Necessities to Troops at Saudi Air Base

American troops at a Saudi Arabian base were grateful for the necessities Exchange associates ran to them in a "rodeo."

 

Associates brought the Exchange’s mission of “We Go Where You Go” to the tip of the spear this week by delivering a rodeo to American troops who just arrived at Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan Air Base.

This was the Exchange’s first rodeo since a renewed partnership among Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense at the base south of Riyadh. In June, the U.S. military began moving equipment and troops to the base after a 15-year absence, according to Military Times.

Dating to World War II, rodeos use helicopters or trucks to deliver necessities, such as food, drinks and hygiene items, to isolated troops.

“The rodeo was by far the most rewarding day of my career with the Exchange,” said Sheila Enderle, the Exchange’s general manager for Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “One Soldier said, ‘Ma’am I have never had the Exchange come to me—this is awesome!’

“Many have been sleeping in the sand without tents, with only MREs and water. That sight was a first for me. I now truly know what the Exchange is here for.”

Enderle and associates from the Exchange at Saudi Arabia’s Eskan Village carried out the nearly four-hour rodeo, which included two flatbed trucks of snacks, hygiene items, coffee makers and other products.

Enderle said the Exchange will do one rodeo per week and even more if needed.

“I was cc’d on an update to Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command in Southwest Asia,” said COL Scott McFarland, the Exchange’s Europe/Southwest Asia Region commander. “The rodeo was a huge boost for morale and the best comment I heard was, ‘They seriously brought us everything on our wish list.’

“This is definitely what I call ‘combat retail’ at the tip of the spear.”


See more of our service at Prince Sultan AB

 

 

Throughout our history, we've served troops at the tip of the spear.

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2 Comments

  1. James Dee Gordon on July 31, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Absolutely AWSOME! These soldiers keep us safe every day. I only wish I could be a part of Rodeo!

    Way to go team.

    • Steve Smith on July 31, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      Mr. Gordon:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post and for the awesome comments. Yes, indeed, these Soldiers are the real “heroes” in a day when the word “hero” is so overused.

      Let’s keep the conversation going! Anybody else out there want to weigh in on our service to the troops in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere?

      If so, type your thoughts in the comment box and hit “Enter.”

      C’mon . . . we want to read them!

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

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