[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 25, 2009

AAFES senior enlisted
adviser visits McCoy

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) senior enlisted adviser said the Fort McCoy Post Exchange (PX) operation is ensuring mobilizing Soldiers can obtain what they need to take overseas and also provides many services, even though it is a smaller PX.

Photo: Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm (right), the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) senior enlisted adviser, answers questions about AAFES operations from McCoy Soldiers. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm (right), the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) senior enlisted adviser, answers questions about AAFES operations from McCoy Soldiers.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm, AAFES senior enlisted adviser, visited Fort McCoy Sept. 9-10. He met with the garrison leadership, customers and toured and inspected PX facilities at Fort McCoy to address AAFES and customer-related concerns and to talk about current and future projects.

“It’s important that AAFES educates, listens to and addresses our more than 12.2 million customers,” Helm said. “This opportunity to interact with our customers only strengthens AAFES ties in the military community.”

Fort McCoy senior enlisted personnel asked Helm, during a question-and-answer session, many questions about the AAFES operations at Fort McCoy and what could be done to meet customer needs. Fort McCoy AAFES General Manager Donna Walton accompanied Helm on his tour and helped answer Fort McCoy specific questions.

One question involved clothing items at the Military Clothing Sales Store (MCSS) that were on back order and hadn’t been received in several months.

Helm said some clothing items are limited only to U.S. manufacturers, which can lead to a delay in making the items and getting them to MCSS. In this case, Soldiers should ask if the procurement of the items can be speeded up, such as through the shuttle service program — which also is available with other AAFES merchandise — with other larger PX facilities.

“The Fort McCoy PX does a great job of meeting the needs of mobilizing Soldiers and ensuring they have what they need when they deploy,” Helm said.

Work force can use
PX Shoppette

Everyone in the Fort McCoy work force, including military, federal civilian and contractor employees, is authorized by Army Regulation (AR) and a local command letter to buy single-serve food items from the Shoppette in the Fort McCoy Post Exchange, building 1538, said Donna Walton.

Walton, the Fort McCoy Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager, said this policy specifically is approved by AR 60-20, which allows local commands to authorize usage if it is difficult for personnel to get the goods and services off the installation.

Everyone on the installation also is welcome to use the AAFES food court facilities — both inside and outside the PX, she said.

“If you see something you want, tell the staff or the general manager,” Helm said. “If you want something, the chances are other Soldiers want it, too. That is the way many AAFES changes have happened. We’re here to serve you.”

Several other policies are in place that benefit military shoppers, such as price matching and no sales tax. Helm said price matching can be done if the same AAFES item being sold is at a lower price elsewhere, including sales promotions. Authorized patrons can verbally tell any AAFES associate the lower price off post if the differential is less than $10 or bring along proof, such as a sales ad, if it’s more than $10. The associates are authorized to match the lower price.

Personnel who buy items from the PX do not have to pay state sales taxes. Helm noted that unlike the commissaries, which receive appropriated funds, AAFES funds all of its activities, including facility and labor costs, from profits generated by its sales.

AAFES also gives back roughly 70 percent of its profits (after expenses are met) to fund Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and Air Force Service programs to support quality-of-life programs and initiatives. The other 30 percent goes to the AAFES capital improvement programs which expands, renovates and builds new AAFES facilities for a better shopping experience, Helm said.

The sale of gas is the one exception to the “no sales tax” rule as all local, state and federal taxes apply to motor fuels. Walton said prices are set by surveying stations in Tomah and Sparta and using the lowest price available.

Helm said that AAFES offers a 5 cents a gallon discount (for a limited time) for personnel using the Military Star Card. Other promotions will include 11 cents a gallon off on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and several 20-cents-a-gallon-off promotions, with the next one scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 4.

Walton said they also have PX trailers in the field to serve mobilizing troops. Plans are under way to convert a building in the mobilization area to a Shoppette, which would be open for business in the summer of 2010. This would provide Soldiers and other military personnel in that area with more convenient AAFES service, she said.

For more information about AAFES services, visit the Web site http://www.aafes.com. AAFES offers more than 1 million items for sale online.

In the Fort McCoy community, authorized personnel can sign up for the Buddy List at the PX, building 1538. The information is sent via e-mail and tells about sales, item availability, other PX news, etc. Personnel also can call 608-269-5574, Ext. 101, or 608-388-4343 for more information.

(Some information in this story is from an Army & Air Force Exchange Service news release.)


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