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Government participation in association meetings and conferences
Recently, the Office of Management and Budget issued new guidance to all federal agencies that acknowledges the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provides some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses. This new guidance adopts many of the best practices suggested in a meetings protocol that ASAE provided to OMB at their request.
While government attendance at conferences is likely to continue to be hampered by sequestration budget cuts, OMB has stated in clear fashion that federal agencies are encouraged to attend conferences that support their agency's mission. The OMB guidance can be found here.
"My thanks to all of you for supporting ASAE's advocacy efforts on this important issue. Still, it's important that we stay vigilant, as Congress has looked to legislate the issue already once this year. We are continuing to educate members of Congress on the value of face-to-face meetings, as well as the oversight the Executive branch is already giving to the issue. Thank you all for your work and your input on this issue." - American Society of Association Executives
How the sequester endangers America's future
Read the Full Statement
The Washington Post, Barbara A. Mikulski
As the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am deeply concerned that the American people do not fully understand the long-term effects of cutting $984 billion in spending over 10 years through sequestration. I fear that we are getting so far in the weeds, with our focus on meat inspectors or air traffic controllers, that we are losing sight of the real issues. The following are a few questions about what the sequester will mean over the next decade.
The Post got it wrong but the troops got it right:
Plan to shut military supermarkets shows difficulty of cutting defense spending
Read the Full Statement
The Washington Post, Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Backlash over a plan to close base supermarkets shows the difficulty of reining in military spending related to
Commissaries are a well-earned benefit for the military
Read the Full Statement
The Washington Post, Louis Ginesi Dominguez; To even consider closing commissaries, where the troops and their families buy their food, is outrageous.
Overhead reductions are on the horizon:
HASC aide: Pentagon's strategic review delayed by 'weeks'
Read the Full Statement
Defense News, John T. Bennett
A sweeping Pentagon strategic review that could usher in a new budgetary paradigm is weeks from completion, says a senior congressional aide. The reasons for the apparent delay are many, sources say. And it is not solely because Hagel is in Asia for talks with U.S. allies and the Shangri-La Dialogue, a major meeting of regional defense leaders. Another defense source with close Pentagon ties recently told Defense News that internal bickering, posturing and power plays also are at play.
Patrick B. Nixon
President, American Logistics Association
In partnership with more than 250 Brands having distribution in the Commissaries and Exchange Stores, The MyMilitarySavings.com Distribution Network has developed and introduced a highly targeted, state of the art shopping list program for our Military Families. For a Demo of the “My Shopping List” Program and or more information on reaching the more than 1.3 million Authorized Shoppers now participating, please visit MyMilitarySavings.com, email to email@example.com or call 619.522.2957.
DoD looking at sequestration impact to 2014 budget
Pentagon officials in the coming weeks will examine how to modify the U.S. Defense Department's 2014 budget proposal if sequestration spending caps remain in place. DoD will submit its findings to the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 1, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
Congress resists defense cutbacks
The Wall Street Journal
Rep. John Garamendi is known as a staunch advocate for cutting unnecessary defense spending. But the California Democrat avidly defends one program: A fleet of high-altitude surveillance drones that the Pentagon wants to scrap. The battle is playing out this spring as lawmakers, military contractors and Pentagon planners wrangle over what to cut in response to declining resources.
Military Family Residents Mailing List: Active Duty families at home address on military bases
Judy Johnson's Military Family Mailbox: Co-op envelope
MilitaryShoppers.com Email: Opt-in email list of registered members
Contact: Military Media Inc. 845-454-7900.
Providing media to reach the military audience since 1974.
McKeon's defense authorization plan doesn't solve thorny issues
Don't expect clear resolutions to several politically thorny issues when you dive into the version of a Pentagon policy bill unveiled by U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon.
From left, right and center, analysts beg DoD to tackle overhead costs
Federal News Radio 1500-AM
Prominent defense experts from across the political spectrum are lining up behind a new call to reduce overhead in the Defense Department's budget, saying that without fundamental management changes, internal bureaucratic costs are destined to crowd out the basic nuts and bolts of running a military in the not-too-distant future.
Pentagon chief: US rebalance to Asia-Pacific gaining steam
The U.S. military will devote more air power, ground troops and high-tech weaponry to the Asia-Pacific region as it moves ahead with a strategic rebalance, the U.S. defense chief recently said in a speech that accused China of cyber incursions. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sketched out some of the region's thorniest security issues, including North Korea's effort to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, competing territorial claims in the seas around China and disruptive activity in space and cyberspace.
Pentagon to trim perks, number of top officers
Starts and Stripes via Current Mil-Tech News
The U.S. military says it's ready to reduce the number of its highest-ranking, highest-paid officers and reign in some of the perks that came with the positions during a decade of war spending.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Commissary Web Posts
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., June 6, 2013.
DP #11, Update #2.
DP #13, Update #1.
DP #14, Update #1 and Alaska Quantities.
2013 Christmas/Thanksgiving WW Dry Grocery Program.
NOTICES TO TRADE
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 13-23.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
SAVE THE DATES
June 18, 2013: ALA Congressional Caucus, Washington, D.C.
Aug. 19, 2013: Commissary Council Consumer Awareness Golf Tournament, Country Club of Petersburg, Petersburg, Va.
Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2013: 66th ALA National Convention, Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, La.
Oct. 15–17, 2013: 2013 Hawaii Food Show, Hawaii Prince Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
New DECA Europe director named to oversee 39 commissaries in 10 countries
Stars and Stripes
The Defense Commissary Agency has appointed a new Europe-area director to replace Cheryl L. Conner, who is retiring. Norman E. Brown, who has served as executive officer to the DeCA director since January 2011, will take over as director July 28. Conner retires July 31, concluding 32 years of federal service.
Furloughs concern Fort Rucker leaders
The Southeast Sun
While the Army has reversed the course of sequestration for Fort Rucker flight training, many families are still concerned as 2,200 proposed furlough letters recently went out to the post's Department of the Army civilians. The decision was made after senior defense leaders estimated about a $37 billion shortfall in the defense budget for fiscal year 2013.
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Plan to shut military supermarkets shows difficulty of cutting defense spending
The Washington Post
Motion sensors and razor-wire coils ring the ammunition depot on this vast Marine Corps base. Sentries stand watch in the lobby of the headquarters complex. Military police officers patrol the barracks every few hours. But no building here boasts the defenses of the giant, government-run supermarket, whose bright, wide aisles are stocked with seemingly every brand of every food product available in America; all sold at close to wholesale prices. The cost of ordering the goods, filling the shelves and checking out customers is all borne by the American taxpayer. Three summers ago, Richard V. Spencer, a retired investment banker who serves on a Pentagon advisory board, proposed shutting down the commissary at Camp Lejeune and every other domestic military base, a step that would save taxpayers about $1 billion a year.
Budget cuts force military commissaries to reduce hours
Northwest Florida Daily News
Commissaries at Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field will be closed an extra day a week starting in July to save money through the end of the fiscal year. Eglin's commissary will be closed on Mondays, in accordance with a military-wide directive.
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Report: US supermarkets gain share
U.S. supermarkets gained market share against warehouse clubs and superstores in 2012, according to a study recently released by DSR Marketing System. The study, based on government statistics, showed that supermarkets in 2012 captured 59.3 percent of grocery sales — up from 58.9 percent in 2011, while warehouse clubs and supercenters saw their share decline from 23.2-22.6 percent over the same period. This reflects the impact of fast-growing food retail concepts including Aldi, Kroger, Publix, Wegmans, WinCo and Whole Foods as well as closures at superstore chains like Kmart, and slower relative growth of warehouse clubs, said DSR.
Proprietary microfocus software and maintenance support
Federal Business Opportunities
The proposed contract action is for supplies or services for which the Government intends to solicit and negotiate with only one source under the authority of FAR 6.302. The Defense Commissary Agency intends to award a sole source firm fixed price contract to MicroFocus, Inc a large business firm, 700 King Farm Blvd Ste 400 Rockville, MD 20850-3334, Phone: 301-838-5320, for the purchase of proprietary software license renewals and its maintenance support. A firm fixed price purchase order is anticipated. The base period of performance will be July 01, 2013 through June 30, 2014 (including four 12-month option periods).
Needing pork, China is to buy a US supplier
The New York Times
Demand for pork in China reflects its booming economy and rising middle class. But that rapidly growing appetite has strained its food production systems, leading to breakdowns and a number of food safety scandals. Now China's biggest pork producer, seeking plentiful supplies and technical expertise, has agreed to buy Smithfield Foods, the 87-year-old Virginia-based meat giant with brands like Armour and Farmland, for $4.7 billion in cash.
Wal-Mart offers fresh produce guarantee to US shoppers
Wal-Mart Stores Inc recently said it is offering a money-back guarantee on the fruits and vegetables it sells at its Wal-Mart U.S. stores as it tries to gain more ground in the grocery business.
Tyson buys Mexican food factory in San Diego that employs 600
Los Angeles Times
Tyson Foods is branching further beyond the beef, pork and chicken for which it's known, voyaging deeper into the prepared foods world by snapping up a Mexican food factory in San Diego. The Springdale, Ark., giant bought Circle Foods, which employs 600 full-time workers at its Southern California facility, from Montreal investment firm Claridge Inc. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which was completed June 1.
Construct new commissary facility, Fort Rucker, Alabama
Federal Business Opportunities
The Defense Commissary Agency, Acquisition Management Directorate, Construction-Design Branch (HQ DeCA/LEAAF), anticipates awarding a firm-fixed-price construction contract to construct a new roughly 84,725 square-foot commissary at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The primary function of the new facility will be to provide sales and processing of miscellaneous commodities and grocery items for the military community of the installation.
Online commissary survey now online
Minot Air Force Base
Whether you shop at your local commissary or not, the Defense Commissary Agency wants to hear from you. From June 1 through Aug. 1, an online survey will be available on www.commissaries.com by clicking on the "take our survey" link or accessing the survey directly at www.surveymonkey.com/s/DeCA-Shopping-Survey. "We're asking for input from our regular shoppers, occasional shoppers and non-shoppers alike," said Tracie Russ, director of DeCA's business development directorate. "The responses will be analyzed and used to improve the commissary for all our patrons."
Supermarkets beware: Amazon is coming
Reuters via MarketWatch
The grocery business has a new and potentially scary challenger. Reuters reports that Amazon.com is planning to enter the online grocery business in a big way after developing the project for two years. One of the two sources Reuters cited said expansion plans for AmazonFresh the Amazon service that delivers groceries in Seattle include new warehouses with refrigerated areas for food, and space to store up to one million general merchandise products.
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Greenpeace seafood report for 2013 scores supermarkets on sustainability
The Huffington Post
Greenpeace has released its annual "Carting Away The Oceans" report, which scores supermarkets on their commitment to sustainable seafood. In an era in which there is constant discussion about the poor state of our oceans, Greenpeace's report actually has some good news.
Fresh produce to see moderate inflation in 2013
Updated government retail price forecasts for fresh produce predict 3.5 to 4.5 percent inflation this year for the category. That compares to 2 percent price deflation in 2012 for all fresh produce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in May.
Study: 1 in 3 grocery shoppers use mobile devices in store
One-quarter of grocery shoppers use mobile devices while shopping in the store, according to a recent study by Hollywood, Fla.-based KSC Kreate, a creative production studio specializing in visual content. According to KSC's "2013 Grocery Shopping Habits" study, which surveyed more than 570 consumers on grocery shopping behaviors and preferences, these shoppers use their mobile devices to look up recipes and nutritional information, find coupons, or check out the prices of products at competing stores.
Target delves deeper into the beauty business
For local Target shoppers looking for that right combination of blush and base, beauty used to be only shelf deep. But come July, specially trained, black and pink uniformed employees will help customers figure out which of the 9,500 units of beauty products lining Target shelves best fit their needs.
Low prices help Costco's quarterly profit rise
Costco Wholesale Corp reported third-quarter profit just above analysts' estimates, as its low prices for food and gasoline appealed to shoppers. The largest U.S. warehouse club chain typically offers everyday items like eggs below supermarket prices, hoping customers will stock up on other goods as well, and usually prices gasoline lower than nearby competing stations to attract members.
US retailers announce new factory safety plan
The New York Times
Feeling pressure from consumer and labor groups for not doing more to ensure factory safety in Bangladesh, Wal-Mart, Gap and numerous other retailers along with the nation's main retail federations are seeking to forge a new plan to promote safety in that country's apparel industry.
Back-to-School shopping campaigns, already?
The New York Times
Although tens of millions of children have not finished the school year, Madison Avenue is already feverishly getting ready for the next one. Such front-running of seasonal milestones should no longer be surprising, given how marketers, retailers and media companies have been time-shifting the calendar to stimulate business related to holidays both official (Christmas) and unofficial (Super Bowl Sunday). Still, it may startle students when they see advertising asking them to buy clothing, school supplies and other merchandise for 2013-14 while they await final grades for 2012-13.
Retailers descend on Mexico
The Wall Street Journal
Clothing retailers from the U.S. and Europe are trying Mexico on for size. Since September, retailers including Gap Inc., Sweden's Hennes & Mauritz AB, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Forever 21 Inc. have opened stand-alone stores in Mexico. The new arrivals aim to compete for an enviable niche carved by Spain's Inditex SA, operator of Zara, which first set up shop in Mexico in 1992 and now has more than 246 stores here.
The plan to make Sears shoppers go digital
In its attempt to reverse two years of losses and a six-year sales slump, Sears is going all in online. The company's new mantra is "integrated retail," a phrase uttered over and over again last week by Chief Executive Eddie Lampert as he addressed "unacceptable" losses and a plan to turn things around. The idea is to stitch together closely sales on the Internet and mobile devices with those in bricks-and-mortar stores.
Even mobile shoppers want real retail experience
Most smartphone users (85 percent) use their mobile devices to compare companies, products and pricing. But companies better come as close as they can to giving customers that old-time retail feeling if they want to get the edge.
CEO Jim Morgan: Don't compare Krispy Kreme to Dunkin' or Starbucks
Charlotte Business Journal
On Wall Street, investors and analysts love to compare Company A with Company B. But recent stock-market darling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. is in a class by itself, says CEO Jim Morgan, the former CEO of Charlotte brokerage Interstate/Johnson Lane who orchestrated its sale to Wachovia in 1999.
Coming out swinging
The efforts of retailers to stunt the billions of dollars annually lost to theft worldwide are like a prizefight where the combatants emerge battered, bruised and bloodied. In one corner of the ring, retailers are employing sophisticated tactics and methods to slow the pace of staggering losses that eat away at profit margins. In the other corner, criminals are relying on persistence and stealth to try to stay ahead of detection.
Courting thrifty shoppers with value and quality
The New York Times
Almost five years after the financial crisis, the economy has improved significantly, but remains uncertain enough that millions of worried Americans continue to watch how they spend. That has left marketers and agencies trying to figure out the right tone and tack to take in selling products as varied as cars and cans of soup.
Infographic: How does same-day fulfillment work?
Same-day fulfillment continues to capture the attention of retailers, whether direct delivery to the customer or in-store pickup. Last month's Shop.org Think Tank article, "Same-Day Delivery: Should It be a Priority for Your Business?" identified the primary questions and issues retailers need to consider as they evaluate the potential fit for their business. Several prominent retail brands have worked hard to raise the same-day delivery bar. Nordstrom, The Container Store, Net-A-Porter, Wal-Mart, Sport Chalet and others are finding creative ways to deliver what customers are yearning for: instant shopping gratification.
REI now limiting returns to 1 year
The Seattle Times
For years, REI's generous return policy has earned it the nickname "Rental Equipment Inc." An Internet search of REI's "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" turns up all kinds of stories about overused merchandise returned for a full refund or store credit. Now, REI will try to discourage customers from "renting" equipment for as long as they like by ending its policy of no time limits on returns. Customers will be allowed to take back store items for one year after purchase. The deadline for returning outlet merchandise bought on REI.com will be 30 days.
7-Eleven owner to more than double North America stores
Seven & I Holdings Co., the operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores, plans more acquisitions in the U.S. and may more than double North America outlets as consumer spending improves in the largest economy.
The store of the future has arrived and no, it's not Apple
Eighty-five-year-old Chicagoan Martin Shafron, a self-described "computer illiterate," steps into the rotunda-like entrance of AT&T's flagship store in the city's high-end retail district known as the Magnificent Mile. Though Shafron doesn't realize it, he is also smack in the middle of a retail revolution showing off its gadgetry and pageantry from here to Beijing.
What's hot in retail May 2013
Retail's BIG Blog
May was a memorable month in many ways for the retail industry. Senate passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act on May 6 at the beginning of NRF's annual Washington Leadership Conference provided a spark of excitement leading into retailers' visits on Capitol Hill that week.
How social networks are eating online retailers' lunch
Electronic Retailing Association
The social media era has expanded the universe of platforms, where buyers can discuss and exchange information on purchasing products, goods and services. These include Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and more. Each of which is producing a continuous stream of information on consumers buying sentiments and preferences. This is posing a major problem for online retailers. By capturing and holding captive valuable intelligence on the needs, likes and wants of shoppers who have visited their online stores, social networks are stealing online retailers' lunch.
Fast transformation: Sustainability grows among fashion chains
Women's Wear Daily
When consumers think "fast fashion," their first thought might not be sustainable fabrics. But after years of hearing about how they are peddling "throwaway" apparel, leading retailers of low-price, trendy clothes are changing their approach. And to consumers, ecologically (and economically) balanced apparel is attractive.
NPD forecasts a rebound in restaurant supper visits
Convenience Store News
Consumers have cut back on their dinner restaurant visits, but a new foodservice industry report sees brighter days ahead. According to The NPD Group, the restaurant supper occasion has lost more than 650 million consumer visits since 2006, but will gain approximately 795 million visits over the next decade. The Chicago-based firm's "A Look Into the Future of Foodservice" report forecasts 4-percent growth in visits through 2022.
4 ways to improve the customer experience through mobile loyalty
From increasing brand awareness to accelerating conversions and transaction volume, mobile has become an integral way for brands to guide consumers along the path to purchase.
Wal-Mart aims to cash in on m-commerce market
Mobile World Live
Wal-Mart — the world's largest retailer — is using mobile technology to bring the power of ecommerce to its stores while remaining faithful to its customer-centric approach, Gibu Thomas, global head of mobile for the company, said recently. And Wal-Mart plans to make the most of an opportunity that will see mobile-influenced offline sales hit $689 billion by 2016.
Exchange transitioning to Rip-Stop Airman Battle Uniform
As the Air Force transitions from the Airman Battle Uniform to the Rip-Stop Airman Battle Uniform, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service will no longer be able to order the ABU once the Defense Logistics Agency's stock is depleted and will sell only the RABU. "While the ABUs will still be authorized for wear, they will not be carried in Exchange Military Clothing Stores as the RABU will completely replace the older, heavier ABU," said the Exchange's Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson.
AAFES Sales April 2013
NEXCOM SALES April 2013
CGES Sales April 2013
ALA Executive Briefing (archive link)
AAFES Press release Archive 2010-2012
AAFES sales flyers (to view click below)
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Save the dates:
June 18, 2013: 2013 Congressional Caucus & Public Policy Forum, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
Prior to the beginning of the governments new fiscal year we have congressional representatives addressing legislative and policy issues impacting the military resale and MWR/Services industry. The forum takes place on Capitol Hill to showcase the association's efforts to strengthen existing relationships and forge new partnerships with the Administration, Congress and Department of Defense.
June 24, 2013: NY Chapter Golf event at West Point - To benefit the Military Commander's Scholarship Fund.
Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2013: 66th Annual Convention, Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, La.
Oct. 15-17, 2013: 2013 Hawaii Trade and Food Show, Hawaii Prince Hotel Honolulu, Hawaii
Dec. 5, 2013: ALA NY Chapter Annual Holiday Luncheon, New York City.
Go to: www.ALA-National.org, sign in and CHECK OUT the information.
NEXCOM Gives $45.9 million to MWR
The Navy Exchange Service Command released its fiscal year 2012 audited financial report which showed a $45.9 million contribution to Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
"NEXCOM's mission is to provide customers with quality goods and services at a savings and to provide quality of life program support to Navy MWR," said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, (Ret), Chief Executive Officer, NEXCOM. "Our contribution of $45.9 million represents 70 percent of our 2012 NEX profits. So, not only do customers save an average of 21 percent, plus sales tax, when they shop at their NEX, the money they spend also ultimately supports their own quality of life."
Navy MWR uses the dividends from the NEX in a variety of ways. Installations receive part of the funds for specific installation level MWR efforts. The remaining funds are used for MWR capital projects to improve facilities.
"The NEX contributions to MWR have been tremendous over the years and are what enable our program to continue to provide some of the best services to the Fleet, Fighter, and Family," said Ed Cannon, Director of Fleet and Family Readiness at Commander, Navy Installations Command. "This partnership has been very fruitful and we continue to look forward to giving NEX contributions back to the Sailor in the future."
NEXCOM operates on the retail fiscal year calendar, which in 2012 was Jan. 29, 2012 to Feb. 2, 2013.
Fort Meade outlines changes due to furloughs
Several departments at Fort Meade will have reduced hours and services as a result of the upcoming furlough period, according to the latest edition of Meade Week. The weekly video from the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office reported that the Office of Family Morale Welfare and Recreation will close Army Community Services will close on Fridays. Also, the commissary will be closed on Mondays, and some legal services could be cut. Fort Meade said police and fire services will not be reduced as a result of the furloughs.
Eyeglasses and optician service base and 4 year contract
Federal Business Opportunities
This is a PRESCOLICITATION NOTICE only. No proposals are being requested or accepted with this notice. THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION FOR PROPOSALS OR PRICING AND NO CONTRACT SHALL BE AWARDED FROM THIS NOTICE. This notice shall not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. This acquisition is a 100 percent set-aside for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business IDIQ contract for a base with four year options.
Outdoor movie night, seafood buffet and story time are just a few events going on this summer. Read on to view and sign up more options.
Fort Gordon employees receive furlough notices
Fort Gordon Signal
In another step toward the start of civilian furloughs this summer, supervisors recently began to deliver furlough notices to their employees at Fort Gordon. The notices take employees at the installation closer to the start of furloughs, which would begin no earlier than July 8 and last for up to 11 weeks. Under the plan announced May 14 by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, civilian workers across the Defense Department will be furloughed for one day each week between July 8 and the end of September.
Belvoir briefs for May 30
Take a look at what's happening this week, and upcoming events you don't want to miss.
Sports and recreation briefs for May 30
Take a look at the following sports and recreation events coming up.
Veterans compete in VA's National Veterans Golden Age Games
Korean War Veteran Darrel Chapman is one of nearly 700 Veterans who recently competed in the world's largest sports and recreational event for senior military Veterans. Veterans ages 55 and older from across the country participated in the 27th National Veterans Golden Age Games in Buffalo, N.Y. The Games were sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Canteen Service
USA Technologies and NEXCOM to pilot availability of cashless payment vending options at selected Navy bases in the US
BusinessWire via Insurance Technology
USA Technologies, Inc., a leader of wireless, cashless payment and M2M telemetry solutions for small-ticket, self-serve retailing industries, and the Navy Exchange Service Command will begin to make available cashless payment options using USAT's ePort and ePort Connect service at select pilot Navy Exchanges located on U.S. Naval installations.
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