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AAFES continues to serve throughout COVID-19

The Exchange plans to remain open and provide customers with their daily wants and needs

Charles Eagen, Spangdahlem AAFES Exchange warehouse associate, stocks newly acquired inventory at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 30, 2020. The Exchange plans to remain open and provide customers with their daily wants and needs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jovante Johnson)

Throughout COVID-19, AAFES employees continue to work and provide customer service to those in need. They strive to make some of the most high traffic areas safe for Spangdahlem AB members

LeeAnna Murphy, Spangdahlem Military Clothing Sales store manager, disinfects her work area at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 30, 2020. Throughout COVID-19, AAFES employees continue to work and provide customer service to those in need. They strive to make some of the most high traffic areas safe for Spangdahlem AB members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jovante Johnson)

The Exchange implemented new policies during the COVID-19 pandemic including encouraging cashless transactions, wearing face covers and gloves, and more frequent cleaning of carts and other high-traffic areas

Jutta Schiffer, Spangdahlem AAFES Exchange cashier, takes a customer's order at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, April 30, 2020. The Exchange implemented new policies during the COVID-19 pandemic including encouraging cashless transactions, wearing face covers and gloves, and more frequent cleaning of carts and other high-traffic areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jovante Johnson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

Since 1895, the Army and Air Force Exchange Services are where Soldiers, Airmen, and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing goods and services at exclusive military pricing.

Spangdahlem Air Base employs nearly 160 associates made up of about 15 percent veterans and 27 percent military spouses and dependents.

“Exchange employees are a dedicated, diverse team of host nation and U.S. Nationals at Spangdahlem,” said Lori Maggard, Spangdahlem AAFES Exchange general manager. “They represent various demographics and include military spouses, dependents, retirees, veterans, active-duty service members and reservists. Many on our team have served for more than 30 years.”

At Spangdahlem AB, the Exchange employs customer service associates, stockers, receivers, cashiers, food service workers, school cafeteria workers as well as safety and security, human resources, administrative, marketing and custodial associates.

Throughout COVID-19, AAFES employees continue to work and provide customer service. They strive to make some of the most high traffic areas safe for Spangdahlem AB members.

“Protecting Air Force members is the Exchange Service’s number one priority,” said Maggard. The Exchange has always maintained clean, sanitized stores, malls and restaurants. Some preventative measures the Exchange have set in place amid COVID-19 include installing acrylic shields at points of sale, customer service areas and restaurants, disinfecting customer service and sales points multiple times daily, including at restaurants and concessionaires, and launching curbside pickup.”

Even though the Exchange remains open during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not come without a few changes.

“The biggest differences are the procedures put in place for everyone’s safety,” said Craig Hall, Spangdahlem AAFES Exchange assistant store manager. “These include encouraging cashless transactions, wearing face covers and gloves, and more frequent cleaning of carts and other high-traffic areas.”

Exchange members feel there are valuable lessons to be learned from this challenging situation.

“We need to learn from this situation and improve on the way we stay safe,” said Vince Kelley, Spangdahlem AAFES warehouse associate. “Simple freedoms such as going to the park, fishing, or shopping with a spouse should not be taken for granted, and we should look back on this time as a reminder of why it is important to stay safe.”

The Exchange plans to remain open and provide customers with their daily wants and needs.

“Our team thrives on serving customers no matter when or where the need,” said Maggard. “It is a privilege to be here supporting Sabers at Spangdahlem AB during this challenging time.”