NEWS | May 3, 2016

AAFES leadership visit gives perspective on JB Charleston

By Airman Megan Munoz Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Army and Air Force Exchange Service senior enlisted advisor, toured the Joint Base Charleston Exchange April 20, 2016.

The visit gave Applegate a first-hand look at the base's facilities and allowed him to talk with customers and store representatives to better understand the needs of the patrons of the Joint Base Charleston Exchange.

"I always look forward to visiting Airmen in person and hearing how we can customize Exchange support," Applegate said. "Touring Exchanges gives our associates a chance to show off their stores and be recognized for everything they do."

AAFES has Exchange facilities all over the world. Touring these facilities allows for the Exchange to help meet the specific needs of each base.

"If you look where we're located, you will see we're all over the globe," said Applegate. "Whether its Afghanistan, Korea or Greenland, we are there serving military members. By seeing what Exchange services military members use the most, AAFES is able to adapt the Exchanges to meet their needs, helping support the Department of Defense mission."

If service members can't find what they're looking for at their local Exchange, they can look on the online site. The site carries a wide assortment of national brands and is available to service members all over the world.

 "The online Exchange is great," said Tech. Sgt. Norberto Lopez, a 628th Communications Squadron IT project manager, "When we're out in the field it's just the necessities. If we need anything else we can go online and get it."

Some of the benefits of the Exchanges are they're tax free, offer a price match program and have the convenience of being on base.

"We come here at least three times a week," said Tech. Sgt. Corey Mallory, a 628th Communications Squadron IT project manager. "It's so easy to come over here during or after the work day and not have to fight traffic. And the prices are always better."

When service members shop at the Exchange, on base and online, they are generating money to improve JB Charleston.

"Most of the earnings we get from the Exchange, are put back into quality of life programs," said Applegate. "From CDCs to fitness centers, we help pay those bills. We also use some of the money for capital expenses and improving facilities. I think it's important that service members and their families know where their money is going. When they come shop at the Exchange, the money comes back to them. Bigger corporations don't give money back to the military community like we do."

For more information about the Exchange and Exchange programs, visit shopmyexchange.com.