Archive for December, 2015

Exchange Bringing Free Screening of ‘Point Break’ to Troops in Afghanistan

Friday, December 18th, 2015

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures are teaming up to offer a special gift to troops stationed in Afghanistan this holiday season: opening-day screenings of the high-octane action thriller “Point Break,” starring Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey.

The special engagement, to be held Dec. 25 and 26, was the idea of “Point Break” producers and Alcon principals Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson. The screenings will allow troops protecting American freedoms in a dangerous war zone to see the film concurrent to its North American opening in theaters on Dec. 25.

In a joint statement, Kosove and Johnson said, “We are so pleased to be able to share this film with our nation’s troops who are far from home, especially during the holiday season. By scheduling these screenings simultaneously with the ‘Point Break’ domestic release, men and women stationed in Afghanistan will be able to see the film at the same time as their friends and families. It’s one small way for everyone associated with the movie to say ‘thank you.’”

“The Exchange couldn’t be happier to give troops serving in dangerous combat zones the opportunity to see this highly anticipated film,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “When every day is a matter of life and death, it’s important to be able to kick back, relax and take in a good movie – just like you would back at home.”

Screenings will be held at Kandahar and Bagram Airfields. “Point Break” is the latest in a series of advance and first-run screenings of major motion pictures in the Middle East and other contingency zones across the world. The Exchange currently operates 70 movie theaters worldwide including two in contingency zones in the Middle East.

About the Movie:

In Point Break,” a young FBI agent, Johnny Utah, infiltrates a cunning team of thrill-seeking elite athletes, led by the charismatic Bodhi. The athletes are suspected of carrying out a spate of crimes in extremely unusual ways. Deep undercover, and with his life in imminent danger, Utah strives to prove they are the architects of this string of inconceivable crimes. The film is replete with the most daring athleticism ever seen in a motion picture.  These action adventure feats are performed by elite athletes representing the world’s best in class in big wave surfing, wingsuit flying, sheer-face snowboarding, free rock climbing and high-speed motocross riding.

Alcon Entertainment presents a Taylor-Baldecchi-Wimmer production, in association with DMG Entertainment, a Studio Babelsberg co-production: “Point Break,” starring Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Delroy Lindo and Ray Winstone.  Directed by Ericson Core from a screenplay by Kurt Wimmer, story by Rick King & W. Peter Iliff and Kurt Wimmer, the film is produced by Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, John Baldecchi, David Valdes, Christopher Taylor and Kurt Wimmer, and is based upon the motion picture “Point Break,” screenplay by W. Peter Iliff, story by Rick King & W. Peter Iliff. John McMurrick, Dan Mintz, Wu Bing, Robert L. Levy and Peter Abrams are the executive producers. “Point Break” will be distributed in North America and in select territories around the world by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. Rated PG-13. www.pointbreakmovie.com

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

Exchange and Disney to bring ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ to troops deployed in Middle East

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

DALLAS – Staying true to its mission of bringing troops a slice of home wherever they may serve, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service will team with The Walt Disney Studios to bring “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to deployment locations in the Middle East.

Troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates will be able to see the highly anticipated film during its initial run, continuing the Exchange’s longstanding policy of bringing first-run movies to troops deployed overseas.

The film’s first screenings will be held Dec. 20 and 21 in Dubai. Showings in Afghanistan will follow on Dec. 22 and 23. Locations in Kuwait and Iraq will feature the movie Dec. 23-27.

“Our men and women in uniform represent the best and bravest, and it’s an honor to do something special as a thank you for their service,” said Ken Caldwell, senior vice president of North American sales and distribution for The Walt Disney Studios. “In July 2013, at the behest of Exchange CEO Tom Shull, Disney became the first Studio to bring first-run films to Army and Air Force base theatres located within the U.S. We are gratified to be able to broaden this outreach with additional Middle East deployment locations for the release of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’”

“Providing service members with first-class entertainment plays a key role in maintaining the morale of our deployed forces,” said Trinidad Saucedo, the Exchange’s senior vice president of services, food and fuel. “Movies like ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ offer a much-needed break from the harsh and austere conditions that those serving to protect American freedoms overseas endure in service of their country.”

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.

Exchanges at Four Army Posts Unveil New Look In Time for the Holidays

Monday, December 14th, 2015

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service cut the ribbon on four updated stores at Army posts across the United States, bringing a modern shopping experience to military communities just in time for the holidays. 

Exchanges at Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Bliss, Texas, celebrated their grand reopenings Nov. 13, while the Exchange at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., unveiled its new look Nov. 24. The upgrades are part of the Exchange’s ongoing effort to improve the shopping experience for military customers. 

All four renovated stores feature a more customer-friendly layout, flooring, paint, signing, fixtures and more. Name brands are prominently featured throughout each store as well. These projects were accomplished under the Exchange strategic initiative to optimize store layouts to prominently feature major brands and enhance merchandise adjacencies.

Fort Carson ribbon cuttingThe Exchanges all feature BE FIT concept shops, stocked with men’s and women’s athletic wear and footwear from name brands like Nike, Under Armour, Adidas and more. The look and feel of the BE FIT section resembles big-box sporting good stores shoppers find outside the gate. 

“The Exchange is committed to providing a modern shopping experience with products and brands our customers tell us they desire,” said Mike Smietana, Exchange Real Estate Directorate vice president. “Service members, military families and retirees deserve inviting places to shop—and these updated stores certainly measure up.”   

All told, the renovations included:

  • $3.8 million update to a 22-year-old building at Fort Campbell.
  • $3 million update to a 18-year-old building at Fort Carson.
  • $3.6 million update to a 19-year-old building at Fort Bliss. (The Fort Bliss Exchange was expanded in 2010.)
  • $1.9 million update to a 9-year-old building at Fort Leonard Wood.

One-third of Exchange earnings support capital improvement projects, such as store renovations. (The remaining two-thirds are paid to military quality-of-life programs.) 

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htmor follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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 Media Notes:

 For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Anyone Can Support Service Members This Holiday Season with Gift Cards

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

DALLAS – Any person can send a little holiday cheer to military service members this year by purchasing a Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine an Exchange gift card.

Service members can use Exchange gift cards to purchase snacks, electronics, books, clothing or even jewelry at any Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps exchange.

“Purchasing an Army & Air Force Exchange Service gift card for service members is a great way to remind our military that they are valued by those they serve to protect,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “It only takes a minute, and while it’s a small token of appreciation, rest assured it makes a big impact for those who work to protect American freedoms.”

While only authorized military shoppers can redeem Exchange gift cards, anyone  can send one by calling 800-527-2345 or visiting www.shopmyexchange.com and clicking “Purchase Gift and Phone Cards” at the bottom of the page.

From there, Exchange gift cards, ranging in values from $10 to $500, can be addressed to a specific Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine or sent to “any service member” through the Fisher House Foundation, Air Force Aid Society, Warrior and Family Support Center or Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. The gift cards can be redeemed at Exchanges in all 50 states and more than 30 countries. eGift cards can also be purchased and emailed directly to an authorized recipient for online redemption at www.shopmyexchange.com.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

Exchange Doubles Savings on Gas Dec. 18-20 for MILITARY STAR Card Users

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is keeping military shoppers’ wallets from running on empty this holiday season by doubling the discount MILITARY STAR® cardholders receive on fuel.  

From Dec. 18 through Dec. 20, drivers fueling up with a MILITARY STAR card at Army and Air Force gas stations will receive 10 cents off per gallon instead of the everyday 5-cents-per-gallon discount.

“With the last weekend of holiday shopping approaching, we’re giving military shoppers an extra reason to come on base or post and see what the Exchange has in store,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “The extra savings at the pump are all part of the value authorized shoppers find at the Exchange.”  

After fueling up, shoppers who stop into the Express and make an additional purchase with their MILITARY STAR card will be treated to a free coffee or fountain drink. 

When drivers use their MILITARY STAR card at the pump, they’ll earn points as part of the new rewards program, which launched this fall. Cardholders earn 2 points for every $1 spent in Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy exchange stores, and wherever else the MILITARY STAR card is accepted. For every 2,000 points earned, shoppers will automatically receive a $20 rewards card.

Every day, shoppers can reap the benefits of paying with their MILITARY STAR card. Besides the typical discount of 5 cents per gallon on all gas purchases, cardholders enjoy a 10 percent discount on all Exchange food court purchases year-round and free standard shipping at shopmyexchange.com.

For information about the features and benefits of the MILITARY STAR card, shoppers can visit www.myecp.com.  

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htmor follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

 

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 Media Notes:

 For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Spreads Holiday Cheer to Basic Military Training Recruits at Lackland

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND – Airman Michael Bacos leaned over the jewelry counter at the Exchange at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, looking for the perfect sparkling gift to send to his wife back home in Dothan, Ala. 

The 21-year-old Airman, in fourth week of Basic Military Training, is spending his first holiday away from his wife, Courtney. 

“It’s rough,” Bacos said. “I’ve only been able to talk to her twice since I’ve been here.”

DSC_3077Bacos and about 2,800 other Basic Military Training recruits were treated to a morning of holiday cheer at the Lackland Exchange, which opened extra early Dec. 5 to give the Airmen, many of whom are spending their first holidays away from parents, sweethearts and friends, a chance to buy the perfect present to send back home. 

The Lackland Exchange team worked for months to plan the event, which gave the recruits a brief respite from the rigors of basic training, said Alison Clement, Exchange sales & merchandise manager. 

“This gives them a chance to cut loose and bond with their peers,” Clement said. “When you’re 19 and away from family for the first time at Christmastime—it’s hard.” 

DSC_3061Army & Air Force Exchange Service senior leaders, including Deputy Director Mike Immler, Chief Operating Officer/President Mike Howard, Western Region Senior Vice President Dave Nelson and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange senior enlisted advisor, greeted the recruits throughout the Exchange. 

“Welcome to the Exchange—we’re glad you’re here,” Immler told recruits outside the Exchange as they left buses and headed inside for revelry.  

Besides shopping, Airmen were treated to photos with Santa, party-themed music from a DJ and a dance contest.

“I love the atmosphere—this is awesome,” said Airman Katie Plickert, who’s in her fourth week of training. 

While listening to music and watching her fellow recruits dance it out, Plickert, 18, from Cleveland, Ohio, browsed for Air Force souvenirs for her mom.

“It’s hard being away this time of year, but my family is supportive,” she said. “They’re proud of me, so that makes it easier.” 

Once Plickert and the other recruits had completed their purchases, buses took the Airmen to the Basic Military Training Reception Center, where volunteers from the Exchange and Lackland organizations gift-wrapped the items for free. UPS, an Exchange concession, was on hand to ensure the gifts made it to their final destination.  

Col. William Fischer, commander, 737th Training Group, says recruits appreciate the event each year.

“For many, this might be first time they’re away from home with real jobs and their own money to buy gifts for family and friends,” Fischer said. “The young trainees really like it—and it’s great that we have this partnership with AAFES.” 

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 The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

Exchange Shoppers Can Say ‘Hello Frisco’ in Latest Sweepstakes

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

DALLAS – This holiday season, Exchange shoppers have the chance to win a gift they’ll never forget – an all-expense paid trip for two to San Francisco, California.

Through Dec. 24, shoppers can enter to win airline tickets, two nights in a local hotel, a meal allowance and spending money for their trip as part of the Ghirardelli Chocolate San Francisco Getaway Sweepstakes.

“For one lucky Exchange shopper, this will surely be a holiday to remember,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Two nights and three days of first-class treatment in one of the world’s famous cities – talk about kicking off 2016 in style.”

Authorized shoppers 18 and older are eligible enter the Ghirardelli Chocolate San Francisco Getaway Sweepstakes at www.shopmyexchange.com/sweepstakes. The drawing will take place on or about Jan. 4. No purchase is necessary.

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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service goes where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives through goods and services provided. Exchange earnings provide dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.  To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/public-affairs/press-releases.htm or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

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Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Conner Hammett, 214-312-2714 or hammettc@aafes.com.