About AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service)
The Exchange is the 56th largest retail organization in the U.S., achieving industry-leading earnings of 11.7 percent as a percentage of sales in 2016. Exchange earnings provide dividends to Quality-of-Life programs. The Exchange is part of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors, responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force through the Chiefs of Staff.
The Exchange funds 98 percent of its operating budget from the sale of goods and services. The remaining 2 percent of Exchange funding comes from appropriated funds; the vast majority of this support is devoted to transporting goods overseas to make American goods available to those serving abroad.
The Exchange operates more than 2,700 facilities in 36 countries, 50 states, five U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa) and the District of Columbia.
Facilities include 122 main stores, 166 Military Clothing stores, 500 convenience stores (troop stores, Express locations, Class Six outlets), 117 specialty stores and 76 theaters. The Exchange also operates approximately 1,750 quick-serve restaurants under licenses such as Subway, Boston Market and Starbucks.
The Exchange also manages more than 3,600 concession operations. Further, the Exchange operates 47 contingency locations in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Kosovo.