Snackin’ on snacks

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Airmen living in Unaccompanied Enlisted Dorms (UED) recently received a Nano market in Montgomery Village, provided by Columbus Air Force Base, in an effort to improve the quality of services provided to dorm residents.

According to Alma Pena, Columbus AFB services business manager, the 20 thousand dollar project took a total of 45 days to complete. The Nano market was added just in time as an unexpected cold weather system closed several facilities including the only source of food on base for UED residents

Airmen did not have to make the choice to leave base to find food, possibly putting them in danger. Due to the inclement weather there were icy roads and freezing rain, roads became dangerous to drive on and many establishments off base were closed.

According to the manager dormitory leader with the 14th Civil Engineer Squadron, the reason CAFB does not have a dining facility (DFAC) is due to the low number of personnel. There had once been a DFAC but it did not receive enough foot traffic to continue operations.

Nano markets are a step forward in the direction to help the efforts of increasing the quality of life here on the base.

“Micro markets offer much-needed contactless convenience to those serving in small or secure facilities,” said Pena. “Facilities where no dining options exist, or late into the night, after other restaurants and retail stores have already closed.”

Dorm residents can simply walk into the Nano market, choose an item, scan and pay through a digital service, and leave. All this can be done while not coming in contact with a single individual.

“I use it often, if not every day,” said Airman 1st Class Shamiya Brooks, 14th Communications Squadron knowledge management. “I like it way more than the old vending machines because there is more of a variety and sometimes the card readers wouldn’t work. This seems more reliable.”

After just one week, most food in the market had to be restocked due to the high demand.

According to Janel Hamilton, Columbus AFB Base Exchange services business tech, the market had grossed over $1,200 dollars in sales during the first month of opening.

A portion of the revenue goes back to the Base Exchange, while the rest is given to Columbus AFB Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR).

According to Pena, the expectation for the market is to provide as many options as offered in a typical convenience store in a safe, contactless environment.