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YOKOTA AIR BASE – “X” will mark the spot – literally – where servicemembers can do their shopping on Army and Air Force installations.

Getting around the “post exchange” (PX) and “base exchange” (BX) wording the two services have separately called their Army and Air Force Exchange Service retail outlets, AAFES announced it will soon change the logo to a simple “X.”

“The ‘X’ simplifies the many terms Army and Air Force Exchanges have been known as throughout the years,” Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm, AAFES senior enlisted adviser, said in a news release last week.

The Defense Department agency runs the retail stores, convenience shopettes, gas stations, fast-food restaurants and local vendors in the mall-like complexes at domestic and overseas military installations.

The Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard run similar operations under separate agencies at their respective installations. The Defense Commissary Agency runs the grocery stores on military installations.

Two-thirds of the money generated at the 3,100 AAFES outlets around the world fund morale, welfare and recreation programs for the military community. In 2009, AAFES netted $420 million in profit and a total of $10 billion in revenue, said Sgt. 1st Class Jon Cupp, with AAFES Pacific headquarters at Camp Foster on Okinawa.

AAFES receives 2 percent of its operational budget from the Defense Department. Cupp said the branding campaign will “re-energize” AAFES' commitment to its customers, an emphasis also epitomized with its new motto: “You save, we give back.”


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