The Exchange and DeCA Partner to Help Soldiers and Marines with Commissary on Wheels
CAMP HANSEN—The majority of the 6,000 Soldiers and Marines at Camp Hansen on Okinawa are there temporarily for training under the Unit Deployment Program. Buying groceries involves traveling to Camp Courtney, which is approximately 40 minutes away.
On Oct. 15 and 16, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and the Defense Commissary Agency partnered together to bring the groceries to Camp Hansen with a Commissary on Wheels event in the Camp Hansen Exchange’s concession area.
“This event is great for our Soldiers and Marines here,” Camp Hansen Branch Store Assistant Manager Ken Randle said. “Most Soldiers and Marines stationed here have limited transportation and this partnered event with DeCA offers great support and convenience to our military family.”
Commissary on Wheels was established in 2009 and, since then, they have tried to conduct them quarterly with the exception of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Commissary and Exchange are working together for the good of the military community, bringing convenience and value to all who serve,” Camp Courtney’s Commissary Officer William Stall said. “Both retailers are all in to support our service members and their families.”
The Commissary on Wheels event offered a variety of snacks, drinks, fresh fruits, vegetables, canned soups, frozen dinners and fresh meats that are not readily available at the Exchange or Express.
“The event was a huge success with sales coming to nearly $9,000 for both days,” Stall said. “The most popular items were the fresh meat and fresh fruits/vegetables.”
AAFES Pacific Region command team, Col. (Select) Michael Kovalchek, commander; Sgt. Maj. Wayne Crudup, senior enlisted leader; and Lt. Col. Lanelle Pickett Jr., deputy commander, visited the event’s opening and saw a steady flow of customers at the register.
“I am very pleased that the Exchange and DeCA could put on this event to help our Soldiers and Marines,” Kovalchek said. “We want our service members and their families to know that we are here to support them.”