Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Six Commissaries Close

Three Air Force commissaries are among six to be closed by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) this year. Stores at Pope AFB, N.C. and Kelly AFB, Tex., will close April 15 and at Brooks AFB, Tex., September 30. Other closures will be at the Defense Supply Center, Richmond, Va.; Sierra Army Depot, Calif.; and Cutler Naval Computer Telecommunications Station, Machias, Maine.

"Closing these commissaries, which altogether cost about $4 million a year to operate, will help DeCA improve the overall benefit," according to Tim Ford, a DeCA spokesman. He said that most customers affected by the closings, to include military retirees, would be able to shop at other nearby commissaries. Lackland AFB's commissary can serve former Brooks and Kelly customers and patrons of the Richmond store can use the Fort Lee commissary. Two commissaries at Fort Bragg, N.C. will serve customers who shopped at Pope AFB.

DeCA officials said commissaries listed for closure fall under previous Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiatives, or are older, smaller facilities with reduced numbers of customers. Sierra Army Depot and Kelly AFB, for instance, were named in the 1995 BRAC. The closures will reduce the total number of DeCA stores to 281.