On Christmas Eve, the exchange at Afghanistan's Bagram AB opened to great fanfare and intense international media coverage. In Iraq, AAFES sets up dozens of retail facilities for U.S. Warfighters who ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power.
AAFES associates deploy to Mississippi and New Orleans to serve National Guard members helping residents recover from Hurrican Katrina. The hurricane destroyed the BX as Keesler AFB, Miss., but associates kept a mini-mall open so customers could buy necessities. In New Orleans, associates staffed a mobile field exchange from September through December.
AAFES introduces more nationally recognized brands to its stores with Bassett furniture, Coach handbags, and Martha Stewart Collection of bed and bath textiles, housewares, dinnerware, glassware, cookware, home decor and gifts.
AAFES opens the world's two largest exchanges-at Ramstein AB's Kaiserslautern Military Community Center and at Okinawa's Kadena AB.
AAFES opens the 492,000 square foot, open-air Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss, the first Main Street-type shopping village on an Army or Air Force installation.
Veteran retail executive Tom Shull is named the Exchange's first civilian director/chief executive officer. The Department of Defense had changed the Exchange's top position from one occupied by an Army or Air Force major general to one filled by a civilian.
The Exchange opens 424 store-in-store concept shops featuring top name brands. Executing the national brand strategy in the main stores resulted in $47 million in sales for the brands, 9 percent more than in 2012.
The Exchange had more than $186 million in contingency retail sales supporting military operations in Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Jordan and Romania.
Exchange celebrates its 120th year of serving those who serve.
Exchange associates deploy to the tip of the spear in Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Korea, Japan and elsewhere to serve U.S. troops and multinational forces engaged in military readiness exercises.
The Exchange gained concurrence from the Department of Defense to allow all honorably discharged Veterans to shop online at ShopMyExchange.com, starting on Veterans Day, 2017.
A blast wall painted with the Exchange logo at Qatar’s Al Adeid AB, one of several locations for U.S. Warfighters fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2010.
U.S. warfighters at Iraq’s Camp Victory leave the PX/BX with bags full of personal necessities.
Since the 9/11 terror attacks, more than 4,500 associates, such as those pictured, have deployed voluntarily to Southwest Asia and the Middle East to serve troops. Some associates deployed as many as five times.
A U.S. Solder at Iraq’s Camp Fluery shows the sackful of personal necessities he brought at a mobile PX at his installation.
Starting in 2003, AAFES opened hundreds of retail facilities throughout Iraq and the Middle East to serve American forces in Iraq, including this one near the ruins of ancient Babylon ruler King Nebuchadnezzar.
Troops line up at the PX at Iraq’s Tallil AB just after it opened. Before the PX was build, two associates served troops from the back of an Army Toyota Land Cruiser.
Visit the Exchange Flickr page for more history photos.