37 overseas commissaries remain open during furloughs

by Kevin L. Robinson
Defense Commissary Agency public affairs specialist

FORT LEE, Va. — Nearly 40 stores in Europe and the Pacific will remain open with local national employees during furloughs, said the director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency.

“DeCA is committed to doing everything possible to minimize the impact of any budget decisions on its patrons,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA’s director and CEO. “We’re doing just that at overseas commissaries, where we have sufficient local national employees to open during furloughs.” Because of international agreements, local national employees are exempt from furlough. Store staffs overseas include a mix of U.S. and local national employees, and 37 of DeCA’s 66 overseas stores have enough local national staff to remain operational. The Department of Defense announced those commissaries would remain open during furloughs.

Like most DOD organizations, the commissary agency is scheduled to furlough its U.S. civil service workforce for 11 Mondays between July 8 and Sept. 30. The furloughs came out of automatic federal government budget reductions, known as sequestration, which began March 1.

The following commissaries will be open on furlough days:
• The United Kingdom — Royal Air Force Base Menwith Hill

• Germany — U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg, U.S. Army Garrison Garmisch, Patch Barracks, Sembach Air Base, Spangdahlem Air Base, U.S. Army Garrison Vilseck and Vogelweh Air Base

• Belgium — Chièvres Air Base

• Italy — Aviano Air Base, U.S. Army Garrison Livorno, Naval Support Activity Naples, Naval Air Station Sigonella and U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza

• Portugal — Lajes Field, the Azores

• Spain — Naval Station Rota

• Turkey — Ankara Air Base, Incirlik Air Base and Izmir Air Base

• Egypt — Cairo

• Saudi Arabia — Riyadh

• South Korea — K-16 Air Base, U.S. Army Garrison Camp Stanley, U.S. Army Garrison Camp Carroll, Hannam Village Housing Area, Kunsan Air Base, U.S. Army Garrison Camp Humphreys, U.S. Army Garrison Daegu, Naval Base Chinhae and Osan Air Base

• Japan — Camp Foster Marine Corps Base, Okinawa; Camp Courtney Marine Corps Base, Okinawa; U.S. Army Garrison Camp Zama; Kadena Air Base, Okinawa; Misawa Air Base; Sagamihara Housing Area and Yokota Air Base

As sequestration continues, commissary customers can quickly find out about any changes to their local store’s operating schedule by going to www.commissaries.com, clicking on the “Locations” tab, then “Alphabetical Listing,” finding their store and clicking on “local store information.”
Patrons are reminded that because sequestration is so fluid, DeCA’s plan for this budget-cutting measure is subject to change.