WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Exchange as well as other installation Army & Air Force Exchange Services around the United States, are now accessible to DOD and Coast Guard civilians as of May 1.
Per recent DOD policy, Coast Guard and DOD civilians can now access the base exchange and all of the benefits surrounding AAFES.
“Our estimates show about 13,000 civilians who work or live at Wright-Patterson or near to us will now be eligible to shop,” said Keola Chan, Wright-Patterson Exchange general manager.
As the Wright-Patt Exchange continues to serve Airmen, retirees, disabled Veterans and families, Exchange store privilege is not the only bonus the policy offers civilians. However, there are a few benefits that will not be available to civilian shoppers.
“DOD and Coast Guard civilians are also able to take advantage of the barbershop, salon and all of the other shops directly outside of the base exchange entrance, in addition to gas,” Chan said. “However, they will not be able to purchase alcohol, tobacco, or Military Clothing uniform items. These limitations are directed by Air Force Instruction 34-211(I).”
Exchange associates have been trained for the addition of customers and are prepared to respond to questions pertaining to the expanded privileges.
ID card for purchases
Civilians who choose to shop at the Exchange will not have to change or get an additional ID card, as AFFES is prepared to accept current Common Access Card or other documentation.
“Current CAC ID’s will be accepted,” Chan said. “DOD civilian employees without a CAC may make purchases at the installation where they are employed if they show other proof of employment documentation dated within 12 months, such as SF-50, Personnel Action Report or other NAF equivalent document, in addition to a valid government identification card at point of sale.”
As an added bonus, for shoppers who may not be close enough to Wright-Patt to take advantage of these privileges in-person, online shopping will be available in the near future.
“Online shopping for our new customers is coming soon allowing DOD and Coast Guard civilians and retired employees to create a shopping profile at ShopMyExchange.com.” Chan said. “Shoppers can follow us on our Facebook page at @wrightpattersonexchange for up-to-date info.”
The Star Card is another benefit extended to DOD and Coast Guard civilian employees. That privilege is exclusive to AAFES and can only be used toward military exchange services.
“Active and retired DOD and Coast Guard civilian employees will be able to apply for a MILITARY STAR at www.MyECP.com once data coding is updated for each electronic personnel record,” Chan said.
The DOD policy not only benefits civilian customers but will also provide additional support to increase critical military quality-of-life programs.
"Having a larger shopping base will help increase the amount that the Exchange can contribute to quality-of-life programs here on base, as 100 percent of Exchange earnings are reinvested in the military community,” Chan said. “A larger shopper base will also increase the Exchange’s buying power at the organizational level, which will maximize savings for shoppers.”
Overall, this policy allows for the Exchange to give back to installations around the United States, including Wright-Patt.
“I do not foresee any impact to current active duty, retired, or dependent military shoppers aside from positive aspects that will allow the Exchange to continue supporting and giving back to the WPAFB community,” Chan said.