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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Nov. 19, 2010
Executive Briefing

President's Message

The cost reduction engine is gaining steam:

Cuts could surpass Gates' proposals
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Defense News, John T. Bennett
A preliminary report from the U.S. Presidential Debt Commission hints that Defense Secretary Robert Gates' effort to shield major hardware programs could be doomed, sources and analysts said. And while the panel's co-chairs called for reducing the Pentagon's budget by $104 billion, many defense companies expect even deeper cuts.

A second group of experts calls for cutting military programs to lower US debt
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The New York Times, Christopher Drew
AA bipartisan group of budget experts called for steep cuts in future military spending, just as leaders of a presidential debt-reduction commission proposed recently. Taken together, the reports are likely to intensify pressure to reduce Pentagon spending and cancel troubled weapons programs as part of a broad effort to reduce federal budget deficits.

Republicans divided on defense cuts
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National Journal via Government Executive, Megan Scully
Republicans may have won control of the House and picked up several seats in the Senate, but party leaders in both chambers will have to tread carefully to avoid a war between two entrenched factions of the GOP over defense spending. Pro-defense Republicans already are clamoring to use their party's newfound legislative power to boost the Pentagon budget, pointing to the wear and tear on the military after nearly a decade of war and the need to hedge against a multitude of future threats.

Military advocates vow to fight debt-busting proposals
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Fayetteville Observer, Paul Woolverton
Some of the budget-cutting ideas from the president's deficit and debt-busting commission would hit the families and economy of the Fayetteville-Fort Bragg community if they were enacted. Advocates for soldiers and their families vow to fight many of the proposals.

ALA weighs in on proposals to reduce commissary benefit:

The American Logistics Association, Armed Forces Marketing Council and Coalition of Military Distributors teamed up to send a letter to the Secretary of Defense concerning the proposals being floated to reduce the value of the commissary benefit to the military and their families. A copy of the letter is found at this link. As a cornerstone to the military’s quality of life program, commissaries are essential to keeping trained, skilled and quality people in the Armed Forces and this enhanced retention greatly aids in the combat readiness of our troops. The commissary benefit is an integral part of the compensation provided to service members and the stress on families from combat deployment and continued stress on the military family's household budget has accentuated the need to ensure that this benefit remain intact.

We understand organizational and management efficiencies must be realized and wholeheartedly support this initiative. However, we strongly oppose budget reductions that would close stores, reduce operating hours or otherwise affect the value of the benefit provided to military patrons.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Rep. McKeon: Defense authorization bill unlikely to pass in lame-duck session
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The incoming Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee might be faced with the weighty task of overseeing passage of the 2011 defense authorization bill early next year. Rep. Buck McKeon, the leading Republican on the military affairs panel and probable new chairman, said recently that it's not likely Congress will pass the massive defense policy bill by year's end. The bill has been mired in the debate over repealing the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. Congress is also hampered by a compressed post-election work schedule. More

Gates warns against defense cuts
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Defense Secretary Robert Gates attacked proposals by the co-chairs of the deficit commission to seek sharp reductions in military spending, arguing the cuts would be "catastrophic" to national security. The co-chairs' defense cuts, Mr. Gates argued, would only amount to a small dent in the deficit, but devastate the military's force structure. "The truth of the matter is when it comes to the deficit, the Department of Defense is not the problem," he said. "I think in terms of the specifics they came up with, that is math not strategy." More

More civilian help?
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With calls for freezing their pay and reducing the government's workforce, federal employees can find lots to worry about in last week's recommendations by the co-chairmen of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. There is one item, however, which would actually increase the number of federal workers, though not nearly enough to fully compensate for the cut of 200,000 federal positions by 2020 proposed by the chairmen. Deep in their list of 58 recommendations, number 53 calls for more federal civilian workers, but at the expense of those in the military. More

Acquisition chief sees need to do more 'without more'
National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The end of a decade of annual double-digit growth in the defense budget, with U.S. troops still fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, means the Defense Department must learn "to do more without more," the Pentagon's top acquisition official said recently. "We need more programs, but we're not going to get more money," said Ashton Carter, the assistant defense secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics. More

General says demand for land forces will increase
Fayetteville Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Demand for land forces will continue and maybe increase in coming years, the four-star general in charge of the Army's combat forces said recently. "I do not see a peace dividend in the future," Gen. J.D. Thurman said in Fayetteville, N.C. He spoke to about 230 people at the Annual Military Leadership Luncheon of the Fayetteville Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce at the Crown Center. More

Deficit cutters reject Gates on shielding defense budget
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A proposal by leaders of a federal deficit-reduction panel, suggesting as much as $100 billion in defense cuts in 2015, contradicts the goals of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and faces a fight in Congress. The plan, offered Nov. 10 by deficit panel co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, calls for canceling a version of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-35 jet and ending production of the Textron Inc.-Boeing Co. tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey and a General Dynamics Corp. Marine Corps combat vehicle. It also would terminate a new Army ground combat vehicle that Boeing, BAE Systems Plc and General Dynamics will bid on. More

Commissary News

Whole Foods' pending arrival signals change in Oklahoma City's discount-heavy grocery market
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Whole Foods Market is under construction and set to open next year in an upscale shopping complex known as Classen Curve in Northwest Oklahoma City. The store would be the first in Oklahoma for the Austin, Texas-based natural foods retailer, and, sources said, should stand out in a market with a longstanding reputation for price-oriented grocers but until now nearly devoid of the kind of experiential retail brand of a Whole Foods. More

Grocery Gadget shopping list application now available for Android
San Francisco Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Flixoft, the developers of the high-ranking Grocery Gadget® shopping list application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch announce the release of a new application version — Grocery Gadget Shopping List is now available for Android mobile devices, and is available for download in the Android Market. Android users expect the same suite of features that have made Grocery Gadget so popular in the iTunes App Store. More

California: Ban on plastic bags spreads
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Los Angeles County supervisors approved a measure recently that bars stores in the unincorporated parts of the county from handing out single-use plastic bags. An estimated 1.1. million people live in those areas. The ordinance, which does not include Los Angeles and other cities in the county, also requires stores to charge 10 cents for each paper bag given to customers. More

Digital coupon use soars in 2010
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of digital coupon events increased by 59.9 percent for the year ending Sept. 30, versus the same period in 2009 across key websites tracked by Marx, a Kantar Media solution. Additionally, 267 manufacturers distributed digital coupon offers, an increase of 23 percent compared to the 217 manufacturers that were active in 2009 across these key websites. "Digital coupons are becoming a core component within the overall promotion mix for consumer packaged goods manufacturers. As with traditional FSI coupons, consumers actively engage with digital coupon websites in the home to make purchase decisions," said Mark Nesbitt, Kantar's president. More

Grein: New meat substitute on the market
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new meat substitute made its debut at the Private Label Manufacturers Association's annual show. Unlike other meat substitutes on the market, Grein is not made from soy. Rather, its source is vital wheat gluten, a natural protein found in wheat. Developed by FoodCause, Shepherdsville, Ky., in partnership with Knox Mountain Foods, Grein — which gets its name from merging the words green and grain — comes in a variety of forms and flavors, including chicken, beef and pork. Like real meat, it's packed with protein — 19 grams per 3.2 ounce serving. But unlike real meat, Grein is fat and cholesterol-free. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website as of 10 a.m., November 18, 2010:

  • Holiday Baking, Update #5.
  • Holiday Gift Packs/NBC Gift Packs, Update #5.

  • 11-12, Category Review Schedule — 2011.

  • Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 10-45 Corrected Copy and 10-46.
  • Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
  • FY 2011 Sales & Customers by Dept by Store by Month & YTD through Oct. 2010.
  • FY 2011 — Oct. 2010 versus Oct. 2009 Region Sales Comparison.

  • Update on 2011 Reset Schedule from Steve Arland: "I have had a couple times the schedule ready to post as a NTT but some minor internal issues have kept me from posting the official schedule. I do hope to have something finalized within the next week when done I will forward a copy to all as well as get the NTT published. Please be patient. We have Eglin and Shaw in January."

Exchange News

Visit to Dallas VA Fisher House
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Jim Weiskopf from Fisher House Foundation is hosting a visit and tour of the 21-suite Fisher House at the Dallas VA Medical Center, 4500 S. Lancaster Road, Dallas, Texas 75216 at 9:00 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2011. The tour is open to any AAFES employees or industry partners. Industry partners should contact Jim Weiskopf at (202) 607-1067 to confirm attendance and for a map with directions. For additional in-formation, contact Jim Weiskopf or Bob Ellis from the ALA. Visit should last approx-imately one to 1-1/2 hour and will include breakfast.

President Obama's children's book to benefit kids of US heroes
The Talk Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barrack Obama's children's book 'Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters' hit shelves Nov. 16 and The Talk was all abuzz. The book is his tribute to 13 of America's greatest pioneers whose inspirational qualities he sees alive within and shining through his own daughters Sasha and Malia. Of particular importance to co-host Leah Remini was the fact that the proceeds from President Obama's book will be generously given to the Fisher House Foundation for a scholarship fund to benefit the children of fallen and disabled soldiers. More

Wal-Mart holiday sales may miss forecast, analyst says
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. may fail to turn its sales around by the holiday season as planned since the discount retailer has yet to lure customers back from rival outlets, according to Cleveland Research Co. Store traffic has declined and is unlikely to recover in the next two months, Cleveland analyst Jeff Stinson said in a recent report. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company also has had to cancel some promotions to "protect" profit margins, he said. More

ExxonMobil looks to digital to drive business
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As ExxonMobil continues its transition out of the direct-served retail business, the company is looking more to technology to be a point of differentiation that separates the Exxon and Mobil brands from the other fuel offerings in the market. The newest way ExxonMobil is leveraging digital is through the launch of its first-ever mobile application. Recently, the Fairfax, Va. based company introduced the "Exxon Mobil Fuel Finder" App for iPhone and iPod Touch, which can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store. The application provides drivers with real-time maps, driving directions and station information for more than 10,000 Exxon and Mobil retail locations across the continental U.S. More

Retail sales rise in October
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
National Retail Federation here on Monday said retail sales for October were up 2.6 percent over a year ago, indicating a relatively strong start for the holiday season. The NRF numbers, which exclude auto sales, gas stations and restaurants, were released as the U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales rose even more when those items were included. The Commerce Department said recently that its tally of October retail sales showed a 5.4 percent gain over year-ago levels, and a 1.2 percent seasonally adjusted increase over September sales levels. More

We're still too low on fruit, vegetable consumption
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kids and adults still aren't eating nearly enough fruits and vegetables, despite years of encouragement from their parents and nutrition professionals, a new report says. Most people consume less than 2 cups of fruits and veggies a day, far below the 4 to 6 cups recommended by the government's dietary guidelines. More

FDA expected to act on alcoholic energy drinks
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A year after it began reviewing whether energy drinks that combine alcohol and caffeine are safe or legal, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to take a stand on the drinks soon, according to law enforcement officials in several states. The agency declined to say what it would do, but several food safety lawyers who once worked for it said a likely option was to use warning letters to inform manufacturers that the drinks were adulterated and, therefore, not safe. More

Fort Bliss celebrates Freedom Crossing
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Officials opened the largest Army and Air Force Exchange operation in the world at Fort Bliss Nov. 5 with a huge celebration introducing "Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss."

In planning and construction for five years, Freedom Crossing is a 492,000 sq. ft. open air shopping center designed to serve the growing Fort Bliss population, which officials estimate will number 127,000 by late 2012.

"For years the Exchange has gone where our Soldiers go, and this development responds with more facilities as the Fort Bliss population increases some sixty percent," said Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, Army and Air Force Exchange Service commander. "Today we open the doors to 25,000 active duty, and nearly 6,000 Guard and Reserve members, plus retirees and family members, all while laying a foundation to welcome those who will join us."

Freedom Crossing is the first of its kind retail development on a U.S. military installation — a combined effort by the Exchange and ServiceStar Development Company in a public/private venture.

The Exchange complex includes a newly renovated main store, which more than doubled in size, from 85,000 to 217,000 sq. ft., along with a large indoor food and ven-dor marketplace and an extensive outdoor marketplace including privately owned shops and a multiplex Grand Theatre.

A number of new eateries, never before seen on a military installation, joined with the Exchange and the post community, including Arby's, Sarku Japan, Buffalo Wild Wings, Smashburger and Val Verde restaurants. These concepts could make their way to other posts and bases. In fact, there are 10 more Arby's locations planned by the Exchange to open on military installations.

Ft. Bliss also is now home to several retailers such as Paul Mitchell and Gamestop. The Main Exchange features unique store-within-a-store concept shops from Victoria's Secret Bath and Body plus Victoria's Secret Pink, Coach, Apple, Nintendo and Hewlett Packard, Michael Kors, Izod, Nautica, Under Armour, Nike and Icon protective motor-cycle gear.

Freedom Crossing is expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs, of which officials say approximately 400 have been filled.

Additional retailers and eateries will round out the Freedom Crossing center in the coming months. An official grand opening for the entire complex is scheduled for summer 2011 when construction finishes for the new Fort Bliss Commissary on the south side of the community center.

Freedom Crossing at Ft. Bliss is a bold step for the 115-year-old Army & Air Force Ex-change Service that is expected to serve as a model for future retail developments.

"We will employ a phased approach," said Joe Giuffreda, Exchange vice president for Community development initiatives. "Depending on how Freedom Crossing at Fort Bliss performs, additional lifestyle centers could make their way to other military communities."

To learn more about the innovative Freedom Crossing Center at Ft. Bliss, visit the web-site

Exchange Announcements

Washington Update

New era in food service coming to Air Force bases
Air Force Personnel Center    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Air Force has been meeting the dining needs of Airmen and their families for more than 60 years through dining facilities, clubs and snack bars. To reflect changing times, a new look and feel is coming to the Air Force dining experience at select bases, mirroring a college "community commons." The Manpower, Personnel and Services community identified the transformation of food operations as the highest priority initiative to serve the Air Force community better and improve Airmen's quality of life. More

In drawdown, Air Force gains 700 officers
Air Force Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 3,000 enlisted airmen received their walking papers in the last fiscal year while the number of officers grew by 700, personnel statistics show. The jobs lost are a few hundred fewer than what the Air Force expected to cut during an 18-month drawdown announced in late March. The plan, though, also called for separating 1,400 second lieutenants through colonels. More

The directorate of programs
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The Directorate of Programs assists field activity managers in operating Air Force Services programs including, clubs and Signature Brand, Name Brand Fast Food and ca-sual dining operations. This directorate also oversees Air Force recreation, sports, aero clubs, child development centers, family childcare sites, youth programs, community centers, entertainment, snack bars, and marketing and commercial sponsorship. It operates the Air Force Talent Contest, Tops in Blue Program, the Air Force Amusement Machine Program.

Grunt Apparel, Inc.

Grunt Apparel specializes in original military inspired designs in silk screen & embroidery at low prices. Licensed by all military branches.
More info

Hubert Company

Stimulate Holiday sales and create a festive atmosphere with Bountiful Thanksgiving kits and fall prop and décor. More

Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods is dedicated to bringing you quality, service, and support you need to drive sales. More


Executive Briefing
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