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    AAFES operating for 125th consecutive year

    Camp Bondsteel celebrates Army birthday

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Amberlee Boverhuis | Kosovo Force Regional Command East, Area Support Group Balkans and Army and Air Force...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Miguel Ruiz 

    100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is operating across the globe for the 125th consecutive year and continues to provide services to service members in Kosovo now for over 20 years, even amid COVID-19.

    Ricky Finley, general manager of Camp Bondsteel’s AAFES, said the mission of AAFES has not changed, as he recalled utilizing AAFES services as a U.S. Army first sergeant in Iraq in 2003.

    “Our mission is to take care of service members no matter where they are in the world,” said Finley, now retired from the U.S. Army and going on 16 years of service with AAFES. “We hope to provide a little piece of home and make them comfortable.”

    Service members on Camp Bondsteel currently enjoy AAFES services like the Exchange where they can purchase food, clothing, and electronic items and food court fast food restaurants.

    Colorado Army National Guard Sgt. Arthur Mears, an aviation crew chief with Alpha Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment,on Camp Bondsteel, said AAFES services are essential to service member’s morale.

    “One of my favorite things to do to pass the time on a day off from work is cook on a grill,” said Mears. “I grill at least four times a week when I’m at home in the U.S. so being able to purchase grill supplies in the Exchange certainly makes that enjoyment available in Kosovo.”

    Earlier this year service members across Kosovo were forced to adapt operational and leisure activities due to COVID-19 restrictions and Camp Bondsteel’s AAFES facilities were no exception to this new norm, said Finley.

    “Even through the handling of the COVID-19 situation our mission remains the same,” said Finley. “Our associates remain committed and resilient in adapting to new norms to continue their service to our service members.”

    AAFES associates adhere to face-covering and social distancing guidelines and practice other preventative measures like constant sanitation of surfaces.

    They also limit the number of persons allowed in a service space at one time in order to continue operations.

    AAFES’ 125-year history of providing goods and services to service members across the globe in war time, peace time and during the COVID-19 pandemic, has remained true then and now.



    Date Taken: 07.25.2020
    Date Posted: 07.25.2020 05:40
    Story ID: 374613
    Location: CAMP BONDSTEEL, ZZ 

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