Military commissaries will return to normal hours Aug. 18 after being closed an extra day because of furloughs.
Naval Base Kitsap stores at Bremerton and Bangor have been closed Mondays and Tuesdays since July 8. Bremerton will reopen on Mondays, Bangor on Tuesdays. Naval Station Everett’s Smokey Point commissary and the NAS Whidbey Island commissary have been closed Mondays and Tuesdays during the furloughs, and will again open their doors on Tuesdays once furloughs end.
Commissary workers were among the 650,000 civilian defense employees required to take 11 unpaid days off because of $37 billion in across-the-board cuts. This week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the number of furlough days was reduced to six because of Department of Defense savings and Congress allowing funds to be moved from acquisition accounts into day-to-day operating accounts.
It’s great news for commissary customers and their 14,000 employees, Joseph Jeu, Defense Commissary Agency director, said in a news release.
“We recognize the disruption that furloughs presented to our patrons as far as access to their commissary benefit,” he said. “We also understand the economic hardships many of our employees faced with the pay they lost during the furlough period.”
It might take a while for product delivery schedules to return to normal, Jeu said.
Commissaries provide groceries at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge for building new stores and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save more than 30 percent on commercial prices.