Defense officials have reportedly asked the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) to draft a plan to close U.S. commissaries. It would be part of budget-cutting efforts for the 2015 Department of Defense budget request.
When asked, DeCA did not directly comment on the issue, but released this statement to NBC 7:
The Secretary of Defense has made it clear on numerous occasions that all cost-cutting efforts need to be on the table in order for the Department of Defense to meet the spending caps associated with the 2011 Budget Control Act. At this time, no final decisions have been made on the Department of Defense's fiscal year 2015 budget submission. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to discuss any specific budget decisions.
According to DeCA, there are more than 260,000 authorized commissary shoppers just within 20 miles of Naval Base San Diego. Many military members and their spouses, like Shannon Reuling, know what it’s like to rely on the stores for certain foods.
“Normally what I get [at other] stores for let’s say $400, I get [at commissaries] for like $200,” Reuling said.
Former Air Force Officer Amy Ash said although no final decision has been made, she’s disappointed such a plan would even be considered.
“I think overall there’s a feeling of not being appreciated but also taking away things that were thought to be givens,” Ash said.
If the plan is included in the 2015 defense budget request, it would not mean commissaries would close anytime soon. Congress would have to approve it, which would likely be a difficult task.