Military Exercises & Contingencies

Military Exercises and Contingencies

Requesting Exchange Support in the Field

The Exchange has nearly 10,000 facilities serving Soldiers, Airmen and their Families from the Korean peninsula to the jungles of Central America from the largest Army posts and Air Force bases to the most remote locations around the world.

There are three levels of field support available for military operations and training exercises worldwide. The level provided depends upon the distance to the exchange, duration of and size of the operation to be supported. Contact the Exchange General Manager nearest the site to be supported. The General Manager will advise which of the following levels of support are appropriate for the requirement:

Exchange Imprest Fund Activity

An EIFA is a military-operated activity, usually in a small or remote site, where a regular direct-operation exchange can’t be provided. The inventory has a small dollar value, normally less than $15K. On an exception basis, the inventory can be approved for up to $50K by the Exchange Europe Commander. EIFAs are satellite activities of an Exchange-run facility, and can be operated for an indefinite period of time. The supported unit appoints an Officer-in-Charge, who is issued an initial inventory and/or funds by the Exchange to purchase a beginning inventory. Money generated from sales is used to replenish the merchandise stock and does not go to the unit. The unit is responsible for re-supply, to include ordering and transporting merchandise. An EIFA Imprest Fund Guide for Commanders is available from a local Exchange representative. It covers in detail all the features of this program. Currently the Exchange supports 35 Imprest Fund Sites in OEF/OIF locations.


Military personnel assigned or attached to the supported unit operate a Store-in-a-Box. It is used where military personnel strength is relatively large but located in a hostile or potentially hostile environment. The supported commander or higher headquarters must identify military personnel to operate Store-in-a-Box. The Store-in-a-Box provides basic health, hygiene, and personal care items.

Mobile Field Exchange (MFE)

A Mobile Field Exchange (MFE) is the "mobile" exchange in the Exchange inventory. A MFE has theh ability to deploy within 48 hours of approved request to support troops worldwide operations such as disaster relief efforts unit exercises and contingencies. the 53-ft. long trailer is lined with shelves of Exchange -supplied merchandise to include hygiene products, snacks, drinks and other essentials. Exchange associates operate the MFE and have full satellite and IT capabilities to serve troops.

Direct Operation Exchange-Tactical (DOX-T)

DOX-T provides the same level of support as the Store-in-a-Box except it is operated by Exchange personnel assigned or attached to the parent exchange. DOX-Ts will usually replace TFEs as soon as areas are secure enough for noncombatant civilian personnel to be inserted. The stock assortment and services can be expanded significantly depending on the availability of transportation and facilities to support the Exchange operation.

Please include Exchange support in the exercise planning process to ensure that the level of support desired is available when needed. Contact the Strategic Plans Division at Exchange Headquarters at (214) 312-2503 or DSN 967-2503 for assistance.

Identifying Installation Needs

Like most retailers, the Exchange invests capital dollars in our Capital Improvement Program each year to provide customers with modern and convenient facilities to shop in.  If an improvement need is identified, the Real Estate Planning Division, in coordination with other HQ business units and our field operators, will conduct a financial analysis of available options. These options are then reviewed to determine project viability.

The Merchandising Directorate (MD) in Dallas, Texas is the driver behind strategies relative to our retail assortment. MD is composed of various category teams who focus on all aspects of a business, ranging from stock assortments and price points to where the item will be located in the store. The Services, Food and Fuel Directorate (SFF) determines food and services business opportunities. Facility sales, space requirements, and demographics are all considered during this process. All developed strategies tie into the overall Exchange Master Plan.

All project proposals are fully coordinated with the respective regions before they are assigned to the Real Estate Directorate (RE) for project development. Commanders are encouraged to identify projects with their local General Managers. Representatives of the Real Estate Directorate, region leadership and Strategic Business Groups will visit the installation to assess feasibility of initiatives and work with command to find viable solutions.

Requesting New Construction (Fast-Food)

If commanders want a name-brand fast-food operation on the installation, the first step is to contact the General Manager. The General Manager will then forward the requirement through their chain of command to Exchange HQ. RE-Planning and SFF will validate the requirement and, where justified, include it in the Name-Brand Fast-Food Program.

Communities of Excellence Programs

The Exchange fully supports the Army Communities of Excellence Program, as well as the Air Force Installation Excellence Awards. The keys to success are open communication, taking into consideration all aspects of a proposed project, using the strengths of the installation’s local knowledge, and Exchange experience in retail construction. The Exchange brings years of good business experience to the decision process by balancing proposed work against sound economics

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