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New BX offers quality of life improvement

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Team Dyess members now have the ability to one-stop shop for all their shopping needs, since the new Base Exchange was officially opened Tuesday.

The new $11 million facility includes a beauty shop, barber, laundry and dry cleaning, florist, optical center, Class Six, military clothing sales and a food court. Before, Dyess members would have to go to several different locations, but now the new exchange centrally locates those stores to provide its customers with better convenience, said Ron Barfield, Dyess and Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, BX general manager.

To make room for all the new shops, Army Air Force Exchange Service officials said the new facility is approximately 130 percent larger than the old exchange. AAFES also said there will be a new parking lot to add to the customer convenience once everything is moved out of the old exchange.

The AAFES mission is to support military members, dependents and retirees at home and abroad. Profits from the stores go directly to the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund, which helped fund the new gym on base and the new exchange. These new buildings are a direct result of our patrons’ investment, Mr. Barfield said.

Currently, AAFES is trying to upgrade stores all around the world to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and Airmen. Dyess is the first base in Texas to receive this new exchange concept, he said.

“While some of the other stores in Texas may be larger and have had remodeling, they do not have the complete new configurations Dyess does. This makes us the first new store in Texas,” Mr. Barfield said.

The new AAFES design for exchanges is part of a strategy to offer servicemembers bigger and better stores with better selection, said Maj. Gen. Bill Essex, AAFES commander.

Many Team Dyess members said they were surprised with the improvements made.

“This exchange is absolutely amazing,” said Master Sgt. Steven Holland, 7th Maintenance Group. “I have been stationed here for 16 out of my 19 years, so I’ve been waiting a long time for this. The people here have worked so hard for this; they deserve it.”

Airman 1st Class Travia Dawson, 317th Operations Support Squadron, said the exchange was much larger and had more variety than she was expecting.

“It really did surprise me how nice it is,” Airman Dawson said.

The biggest improvement Staff Sgt. Jonathan Fernandez, 317th OSS, liked was having all the stores centrally located and more space to shop.

“By Dyess getting significantly improved exchange facilities, we are providing first-class availability and improved buying power for our Air Force family,” said Chief Master Sgt. Paul Wheeler, 7th Bomb Wing command chief.

Team Dyess members can also expect more positive changes down the road as a new mini mall is scheduled to open July 1, Mr. Barfield said.

The new mini mall will feature a Burger King Express, shoppette, car care service, post office, car wash and a gas station. The gas station will be available to customers 24 hours a day. The shoppette is currently scheduled to be open from 6 a.m. until midnight and could be expanded to 24 hours based on sales, Mr. Barfield said.