Base Shoppette to remain open for now Published March 5, 2014 By 2nd Lt. Stacy Gault 167th Airlift Wing MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The 167th Airlift Wing Shoppette opened for business 34 years ago and will stay open, for now. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the entity that operates the on-base shoppette, initially planned to close down the store Feb. 1, but the decision was delayed. As a result, the 167th wing leadership initiated the ongoing 'S.O.S.- Save our Shoppette' campaign and conducted a survey to identify the products customers want and help AAFES better serve their patrons. In a recent survey available to unit members and retirees completed by nearly 400 people, more than 80 percent wanted to see more military and uniform related items in the base shoppette. Promotional Air Force items were the second most popular at 48 percent. Customers are also looking for pre-made food and beverages, seasonal items and electronics to round out the list of top five requests. "The data analysis for the 'SOS Survey' identified precisely what the wing members want to see more of, starting with military clothing sales. We're working with AAFES management at all levels to make that happen," said Capt. Christopher Tusing, wing executive staff officer. AAFES management, in coordination with the wing, has established new hours for the exchange. The store will now be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and unit training assembly weekends. "The new hours provide consistency which will ultimately better serve the customers and help generate the sales AAFES is looking for," Tusing said. The original base exchange opened in January 1980 and was attached to the Airmen's quarters. Since then, the staff and location may have changed but the support from unit commanders and members has remained the same. "This wing has supported AAFES for over 34 year and I have every confidence we can continue to do so well into the future. The participation we had with the survey alone, clearly illustrates the support across the wing to keep the shoppette open for business," Tusing said.