Navy bases to replace cambios
NAPLES, Italy — Problematic dollar-to-euro change machines at Navy bases in Italy and Spain will soon be scrapped in favor of more reliable ATMs.
Personnel Support Activity Europe decided to stop funding the change machines — known as cambios — by Sept. 30, because their antiquated technology made them difficult to maintain, said PSA Europe’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Donna Vaught.
Seven machines were installed in 1994 at bases in La Maddalena, Sardinia; Rota, Spain; Sigonella, Sicily; and Naples, Italy. Cambios at La Maddalena and Sigonella were shut down last month and replaced with Italian bank ATMs.
The support activity has agreed to co-share the cost of keeping cambios operational in Naples and Rota until Dec. 31.
“The machines are very temperamental,” Vaught said.
The cambio machines operate 24 hours a day and don’t charge a fee. Commercial Italian ATMs issue euro and charge a nominal fee, about a euro, if the user is not a bank member. Lt. Cmdr. Mike Watt, Sigonella comptroller, said one such ATM already was on NAS II and a new ATM next to the NAS I commissary will be operational by the end of October.
La Maddalena replaced its cambio with an Italian ATM on the main base and is planning to install another soon at Santo Stefano, where submarines and the USS Emory S. Land dock, said comptroller Ziad Shebaro.
“The [cambio] machine there was very technically challenged. We had more issues of it giving out too much money,” Vaught said.
Naples comptroller Lt. Cmdr. Troy Terronez said the cambios at Agnano and Capodichino will be scrapped after new ATMs are in place, which is expected to occur by the end of the year.
Rota leadership is discussing what to do about its two cambios, said base spokesman Lt. Corey Barker. The base also has two ATMs that distribute euros.