New AAFES manager talks about ongoing improvement projects

By Terrance BellJuly 6, 2023

New AAFES manager talks about ongoing improvement projects
The main exchange food court, which currently seats 140, will undergo a renovation that will increase seating capacity to 350. The project is expected to cause some inconvenience to patrons – the side entrance will be solely used during the project – but the eateries will remain open. The renovation has been delayed due to supply chain issues. It is estimated to take seven months to complete once work commences. (photo by T. Anthony Bell) (Photo Credit: Terrance Bell) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT GREGG-ADAMS, Va. – Patrons visiting the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s Express store/gas station the past few months may have experienced inconveniences caused by an ongoing image upgrade.

The inconveniences will fade into nonexistence, said new Exchange General Manager Lajima Marshall-Pierce.

“The renovation will be completed July 31, and the grand opening is set for Aug. 3,” she said.

In place will be a more spacious, customer-focused and convenient floor plan. It will include new self-checkout registers as well as the addition of Hunt Brothers Pizza, a made-to-order pizza service, and Eddie Peppers Mexican Grille, a healthy food grab-and-go offering. Each provides an option for ordering ahead and rapid pick up.

Marshall-Pierce, serving in her first general manager assignment, came to Fort Gregg-Adams from Fort Belvoir with nearly three decades of exchange experience. Several major projects will mark her tenure here to include a multimillion-dollar expansion of the main exchange food court.

“We’re going from a 140-to-350-seat capacity” she said.

The project will expand the space beyond the main entrance to the adjacent sidewalk, she added. It may cause some inconvenience to patrons because the only way into the facility will be the side entrance near Starbucks while the main entrance is closed.

The construction is not expected to impact operations, said Marshall-Pierce, noting the food court eateries will remain open during the renovation.

Funding for the project has been allocated, the bid is complete and a contractor has been selected, but supply issues may delay the expected start. The project is estimated to take seven months once work commences.

Other projects on the Exchange agenda include improvements to the Burger King drive thru and the addition of self-checkout registers at the PXTRA on Sustainment Drive. Self-checkout registers are scheduled to be in operation by Sept. 21. The BK project is on hold pending re-evaluation, said Marshall-Pierce.

On a side note, the main exchange announced new self-checkout hours. They are open at 8 a.m., Monday-Saturday, and 9 a.m. on Sundays. The customer service counter, cash services and specialized departments are available during regular hours starting at 9 a.m., Monday-Saturday, and 10 a.m., Sunday.

Lastly, the former Arby’s restaurant space in the main exchange food court remains vacant but efforts are being made to bring in a high-end eatery that Marshall-Pierce declined to name.

For more information about AAFES stores and services here, call 804-861-5970 or visit