Exchange COVID-19 Information and News
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As the Department of Defense's oldest retailer, the Exchange has stood by our Nation’s Warfighters in the most difficult circumstances for nearly 125 years. During war and natural disasters, we go where they go. The Exchange remains open* to serve those who serve us.

* Army Regulation 215-8/Air Force Instruction 34-211(I) (AR 215-8) in support of the Army and Air Forces’ mission authorizes the Exchange to operate retail and food operations to include those providing personal services, and all supporting activities for such operations, including warehousing and distribution channels, construction and the AAFES headquarters operation in Dallas Texas. All Exchange operations are essential to the mission performed by US Army and Air Force. 

The Exchange is committed to maintaining clean, sanitized stores and restaurants. Preventive measures the Exchange is taking to keep military communities and its workforce safe include:

Disinfecting customer service and sales points multiple times daily.

The Exchange is committed to maintaining clean, sanitized stores and restaurants. Preventive measures the Exchange is taking to keep military communities and its workforce safe include:

Cleaning product demo displays and high-traffic fixtures.

The Exchange is committed to maintaining clean, sanitized stores and restaurants. Preventive measures the Exchange is taking to keep military communities and its workforce safe include:

Routinely cleaning mall stores and restrooms.

The Exchange is committed to maintaining clean, sanitized stores and restaurants. Preventive measures the Exchange is taking to keep military communities and its workforce safe include:

Halting product sampling

A message from the Exchange’s CEO Tom Shull

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is truly honored to serve you—our Nation’s heroes—during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are unprecedented times. Our way of life has been disrupted. One constant is your Exchange’s steadfast commitment to supporting you...
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How the Exchange is supporting the military community during these challenging times.

As COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service remains committed to supporting Soldiers, Airmen and military families, just has it has for nearly 125 years. As part of the Department of Defense, the Exchange is mission essential.

 

The Exchange is working around the clock to meet significant increases in demand. In heavily affected areas, some merchandise may be subject to purchase limits. We continue to work in lockstep with store management and installation leadership to ensure timely delivery of products to our stores worldwide.

 

Most locations remain open, but hours may be reduced. In some areas, the Exchange has been directed by installation command to temporarily close some CONUS and OCONUS facilities. Additionally, the Exchange has instituted command-directed operational changes including removal of tables and chairs from food courts, rationing of hygiene items, etc. The Exchange’s social media pages provide near-real-time update on hours and services available.

Protecting the force is the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Exchange is mission essential. Most Exchange locations remain open, but hours may be reduced. In some areas, we have been directed by installation command to temporarily close some CONUS and OCONUS facilities.

Additionally, the Exchange has instituted command-directed operational changes including removal of tables and chairs from food courts, rationing of hygiene items, etc. Acrylic shields at the point of sale, customer service and restaurants were installed to protect shoppers and associates.

Customer-facing associates and those in our distribution centers are being given reusable face masks. We started procuring these before the Department of Defense issued guidance on wearing cloth coverings in public/working space on military installations. Associates who are awaiting their masks are encouraged to make their own in accordance with the surgeon general’s guidelines.

For contactless shopping, ShopMyExchange.com is always open. Buy online, pickup in store services are available for some items, and we offer curbside pickup at select locations. Many of restaurants are open for takeout. The Exchange’s social media pages provide near-real-time update on hours and services available.

The Exchange deployed a mobile field Exchange to New York City for the first time since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The 53-foot Exchange on wheels is stocked with drinks, snacks and hygiene items to support 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, National Guard and civilian medical professionals working at the Javits Center, the makeshift field hospital that’s been set up to handle COVID-19 patients. MFEs at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston and Fort Benning are supporting troops at those locations.

The Exchange is working around the clock to meet significant increases in demand. In heavily affected areas, some merchandise may be subject to purchase limits. The Exchange works in lockstep with store management and installation leadership to ensure timely delivery of products to stores worldwide.

For nearly 125 years, the Exchange has stood by our Nation’s Warfighters in the most difficult circumstances. During war and natural disasters, we go where they go. Unless directed by the Services or installation command, we will remain open to serve those who serve us.

In some areas, the Exchange has been directed by installation command to temporarily close some CONUS and OCONUS facilities. In some locations, command is limiting who can access the installations. Shoppers are encouraged to check their local Exchange’s social media pages for information on hours.

Army Regulation 215-8/Air Force Instruction 34-211(I) (AR 215-8) in support of the Army and Air Forces’ mission authorizes the Exchange to operate retail and food operations to include those providing personal services, and all supporting activities for such operations, including warehousing and distribution channels, construction and the AAFES headquarters operation in Dallas, Texas. All Exchange operations are essential to the mission performed by US Army and Air Force.

Protecting shoppers is the Exchange’s top priority during the pandemic. The Exchange has always been committed to maintaining clean, sanitized stores, malls and restaurants. Preventive measures the Exchange has taken to keep military communities safe include:

  • Installing acrylic shields at points of sale, customer service areas and restaurants.
  • Disinfecting customer service and sales points multiple times daily, including at restaurants and concessionaires.
  • Cleaning product demo displays and high-traffic fixtures.
  • Routinely cleaning theaters, mall stores and restrooms.
  • Halting product sampling.

 

Specifically for restaurants, the Exchange is:

  • Increasing handwashing frequency for associates.
  • Cleaning/disinfecting customer touchpoints more often.
  • Transitioning to take-out or drive-thru only in most restaurants—installation commands have requested closure of dining rooms in most locations.
  • Removing condiments from dining room
  • Eliminating use of personal cups.
  • Providing new cups for all refills.

 

The Exchange is also:

  • Closing Reel Time movie theaters in CONUS and Europe. The closures are in line with how major movie theater chains are responding to COVID-19.
  • Closing barber shops, beauty shops and spas at command discretion.
  • Closing optical shops run by U.S. Vision and NVI at these vendors’ discretion.
  • Suspending associate-assisted fittings at Military Clothing stores. The Exchange is following direction from Army TACOM and Air Force Material Command/A4.
  • Adjusting hours at some dental clinics to care for emergency patients only as recommended by the ADA.
  • Reviewing micromarket “unattended” locations for service expansion.

Increasing sanitization when filling vending machines. Vending machines are open, but in some cases, command has limited vendors’ access to installations, which could impact quantities of product available.

The Exchange stands with Warfighters and military families during this crisis. Examples of support include:

  • Deploying a mobile field Exchange to the Javits Center in New York City to support service members and medical personnel on the front lines in fighting COVID-19.
  • Installing acrylic shields at points of sale, customer service and restaurants to protect shoppers and associates.
  • Distributing reusable face masks for its customer-facing and distribution center associates worldwide. The masks have an antimicrobial effect that lasts in excess of 100 high temperature laundry washes, providing permanent antimicrobial effectiveness.
  • Disinfecting customer service and sales points multiple times daily.
  • Serving grab-and-go meals provided to military children engaging in virtual learning in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa and Europe.
  • Ramping up production at the bakeries and water plants in Europe and Pacific regions by about 20% through April. Bakery products to commissaries have increased 22% and products to DLA have increased 12%. Water production has increased 30%, producing 2.25 million gallons of water in FY2020 (through April), an increase of more than half a million gallons over the same period FY2019.
  • Reducing/changing hours of operation to allow for thorough cleaning and restocking.
  • Providing take-out service only in restaurants to align with physical distancing measures.
  • Cleaning product demo displays and high-traffic fixtures.
  • Routinely cleaning theaters, mall stores and restrooms.
  • Training food service workers on safety, cleanliness and personal hygiene; reviewing and following food safety and hygiene measures.
  • Posting up-to-date information on Exchange social media channels.
  • Deploying signing to remind shoppers of physical distancing guidelines, and in some cases, marking the floor with tape to ensure shoppers keep 6 feet of distance while waiting in line.
  • Waiving delivery fees for meals ordered online from Exchange restaurants in Europe and the Pacific.
  • Asking MILITARY STAR® cardholders affected by the pandemic to MilitaryStar@aafes.com for assistance with their account.
  • Setting up personal shopping programs at Fort Bliss to help quarantined Soldiers coming back for deployment get what they need.
  • Running an unmanned micromarket at Fort Hood for National Guard members and Reservists who are quarantined after overseas deployment.
  • Preparing more than 300 pizzas at Fort Bragg’s Domino’s for troops in quarantine.
  • Deploying mobile barbershops to Fort Leonard Wood and Fort Lee so Soldiers can maintain regulation haircuts.

Deploying mobile field Exchanges to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston and Fort Benning to support troops at those locations.

To maximize the availability of high-demand items, rationing has been implemented at select Exchange stores. As the global health emergency effects every aspect of the supply chain (from manufacturing to shipping), the Exchange continues to explore all potential opportunities to route needed products to impacted areas.

The Exchange is not limiting access to its stores but is following command-directed restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates regarding command-directed requirements are being posted to the Exchange’s installation-specific Facebook pages.

Some Exchange barber shops, salons, nail salons and spas have closed at the direction of installation command. For those locations that remain open, Exchange barbers are increasing their focus on sanitation, including staying home if sick, frequent hand washing and routinely cleaning door knobs, faucet handles, etc. The safety of customers and associates is the Exchange’s No. 1 priority, and the team continues to provide this critical service to the communities we are honored to serve.

ShopMyExchange.com is always open. Buy online, pickup in store services and curbside pickup are available for many items. Please know that, like other omnichannel retailers, the Exchange designated some items normally available online and in stores as in-store availability only. Items include

  • Hand sanitizers
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Baby wipes
  • Flushable wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissue
  • Paper towels

These items will return to ShopMyExchange.com once demand normalizes.

IDs are currently being checked at the point of sale.  As the situation is fluid, policy changes could be implemented in the future.

The Exchange expects shoppers to adhere to Department of Defense and installation requirements regarding face coverings. The Exchange has radio announcements and in-store signing to remind its guests of physical-distancing standards and face mask guidance.

Taking care military shoppers is our top priority. The Exchange supports preventive measures recommend by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Common practices, such as washing hands, help limit the spread of the virus.

Customer-facing associates and those in our distribution centers are being given reusable face masks. We started procuring these before the Department of Defense issued guidance on wearing cloth coverings in public/working space on military installations. Associates who are awaiting their masks are encouraged to make their own in accordance with the surgeon general’s guidelines. The masks have an antimicrobial effect that lasts in excess of 100 high temperature laundry washes, providing permanent antimicrobial effectiveness.

Associates who are sick are asked to notify their supervisor and stay home. The Exchange has a liberal leave policy for all associates. 

The Exchange has deployed resources to help associates stay well physically and mentally. Signs to encourage good hygiene and reinforce handwashing, with guidance from the CDC, have been posted in restrooms. Hand sanitizer is available as well. 

The Exchange is paying up to two weeks administrative leave for associates affected by COVID-19. This administrative leave is available to associates displaced as a result of a curtailment in operations, closure of a facility, or if quarantine is required based on the direction of medical authorities.

From the Exchange Newsroom

DMN1
July 22, 2020

The pandemic challenge for Dallas-based AAFES: Keep the U.S. military safe while shopping

DALLAS –Dallas-based Army & Air Force Exchange Service was one of the first U.S. retailers to get first-hand experience operating in a pandemic, initially in coronavirus hot spots in South Korea and then at bases in Italy and Germany.

Get the whole story here.

95999-AER-AFAS-Year-PINPAD
July 13, 2020

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Serves Up More Than 85,000 Grab-and-Go School Meals During Pandemic

DALLAS –“AER and AFAF take exceptional care of Soldiers, Airmen and families navigating difficult times, such as during the recent upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull. 

Get the whole story here.

PA_CV19_School
June 25, 2020

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Serves Up More Than 85,000 Grab-and-Go School Meals During Pandemic

DALLAS – With schools overseas transitioning into the summer break, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has wrapped up its highly successful grab-and-go school meal program. Implemented as schools in Europe and the Pacific went virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program served 85,570 breakfasts and lunches in four months.

Get the whole story here.

Fort Sill Exchange supports incoming trainees during pandemic
June 17, 2020

From KSWO-TV: Fort Sill Exchange supports incoming trainees during pandemic

FORT SILL – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is supporting Fort Sill recruits with hygiene essentials as they wait to start basic training amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get the whole story here.

From Guam to Okinawa, the Exchange Supports Medical Task Force during COVID-19
June 10, 2020

From Guam to Okinawa, the Exchange Supports Medical Task Force during COVID-19

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – For more than 100 Medical Task Force Sailors and Marines, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service provided comforts of home after they returned to Okinawa and into a 14-day quarantine.

Get the whole story here.

Garrison enables vital depot missions to maintain on-time deliveries
June 4, 2020

From Army.mil: Garrison enables vital depot missions to maintain on-time deliveries

GERMERSHEIM, Germany – Like an old Country and Western song, those convoys of 18-wheelers just kept on a rollin’.
There were some detours and roadblocks, to be sure, given the myriad of Department of Defense and Host Nation rules and restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Get the whole story here.

JBERgraduateTyrellWilliams-1-e1591112361282
June 4, 2020

Alaska Exchange Honors High School Seniors Impacted by COVID-19

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON – For Tyrell Williams, it was a whirlwind senior year. It started with a transfer from Washington, D.C., to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska with his dad, who serves in the Army. Then his classes at Eagle River High School were shut down in March because of…

Get the whole story here.

DSC_5856-3-e1591201685708
June 3, 2020

Kadena Exchange Supports USS Blue Ridge

KADENA AIR BASE – Military members have gotten used to curbside pickup from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service during the COVID-19 pandemic. And on May 22, ship-side service became possible too. It was all hands on deck as the Kadena Air Base Exchange, Okinawa Distribution Center and food…

Get the whole story here.

Grunstadt-HD-Crew-e1590506094919
May 26, 2020

Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Europe Water Plants Continue Home Deliveries during Pandemic

SEMBACH, Germany – While many service members and families have been under stay-at-home orders in Europe, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is ensuring military communities are still receiving home deliveries of bottled water.

The Exchange’s plants in Grünstadt, Germany, and Vicenza, Italy, bottle potable water for Exchange stores throughout the region and work with Culligan Water to deliver 5-gallon bottles of water for military homes and offices. As a mission-essential retailer, the Exchange has continued to serve the military community during the COVID-19 pandemic, including through these home deliveries.

Get the whole story here.

Fort-Bliss-Exchange-Personal-Shopper-Program-2-e1589387248744
May 12, 2020

Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Personal Shopper Program Brings Comfort to Quarantined Troops

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s personal shopper program is making quarantine feel a little more like home for Soldiers and Airmen at more than 20 military installations.

Through the Exchange, Warfighters staying at the installations’ restricted quarantine areas can order snacks, drinks and personal hygiene products via phone or email. The order is then delivered to an intermediary at the troops’ quarantine location at no additional cost, usually on the same or next day.

Get the whole story here.

Spangdahlem-prom-1-e1588624696287
May 12, 2020

From Military Families Magazine: Spangdahlem Exchange creates prom experience for military teens

The Class of Quarantine 2020 showed off its gowns and royal court at Spangdahlem Exchange during a creative spin on prom night.

Seniors from Spangdahlem High School in Germany initially requested off in April to attend prom, but COVID-19 forced cancellation of the big event. Food Court Manager Michelle Hetcher, who has worked at the Exchange for 24 years, wanted to find a way to still deliver the experience for the teens, knowing how much her own prom meant to her.

Read more from Military Families Magazine.

MilitarydotcomCurbside-e1585861545446
April 2, 2020

From Military.com: AAFES Adds Curbside Pick-Up at Some Locations

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is testing curbside order pick-ups at six of its stores as managers seek to find ways to keep shoppers buying while also reducing foot traffic.

The system last year expanded its in-store online order pick-up program to 135 locations. But users had to enter the store to get their items from a designated counter. The new program instead will allow purchases to be delivered to the shoppers’ vehicles.

Read more from Military.com.

Capture-e1585842463804
April 2, 2020

From KTVT-TV: Clear Shields Going Up At Cash Registers For All Businesses On Military Bases

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is installing clear acrylic shields at cash registers in all of its stores to protect customers and associates during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more from KTVT-TV.

Information For Your Location

Helpful Links

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Army & Air Force Exchange Service Encourages Customers to Limit Cash Purchases to Help Fight Spread of COVID-19

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is enlisting the help of military shoppers in its fight to protect Warfighters, families and installation communities from the global spread of COVID-19.

 

To learn more about the Exchange Credit Program visit www.myECP.com.

In-Store Radio/Video Spots