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Vandenberg Main Exchange offers support on some level to entire military community

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- On any given day, a variety of visitors, contractors and Department of Defense civilians visit any one of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service's food, entertainment and retail operations on Vandenberg Main Exchange. The question most frequently posed by these visitors is "Who's authorized to shop these facilities?"

Exchange service authorization actually begins with the House Armed Services Committee and ultimately ends with the Vandenberg Main Exchange commander. The guidelines, as prescribed by Army Regulation 215-8/Air Force Instruction 34-211 (I) and the Armed Services Exchange Regulations, Department of Defense Instruction 1330.21, require proper identification of authorized customers, including uniformed personnel and members of the Reserve Components and family members, applicable DoD civilians, Exchange associates, retirees and their dependents who possess a basic Exchange purchase privilege authorization card.

While rules governing who can buy merchandise and services at Exchanges often apply to a chosen few, the doors to the Vandenberg Main Exchange's food facilities, such as Charley's, Robin Hood, and the Express are open to virtually anyone looking for a taste of home. In fact, DoD policy allows all federal government employees, and even installation visitors, to dine at Exchange restaurants as long as their orders are consumed on the installation. Furthermore, anyone can purchase single-serve consumables from the Express , an option that is especially valuable late at night considering the Express is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m to 6 p.m.

"Most Expresses have "Snack Avenues" which offer a broad selection of snacks and beverages," said the Exchange's General Manager, Krista Wiester. "Fruit, candy bars, soft drinks and even chicken pot pies can be picked up by just about anyone with business on the installation."

Anyone who believes they may qualify for Exchange benefits can call 805-734-5521 for additional information.