ALTUS AFB, OK (KSWO) –U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe visited the commissary at Altus Air Force Base to meet with families and employees Friday, May 13, a day after an act to start privatizing commissaries passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The National Defense Authorization Act has a provision included that would begin privatizing the military's commissaries. Sen. Inhofe worked against the same idea last year because a financial impact study had not been done beforehand.
"There are too many unknowns as to whether privatization could directly impact a military member's ability to provide for their families as well as the potential for it to affect retention. This is why in last year's NDAA, I worked to stop an ill-advised provision to begin privatization until the Defense Department conducts an assessment for the potential costs and benefits of such action. That report has not been completed, yet the Senate's NDAA includes language this year that takes another attempt at launching a pilot privatization program. I am committed to fighting this again on the Senate floor," Inhofe said in an email.
In 2015, Inhofe and other senators agreed that the privatization efforts should be postponed until the Department of Defense conducted an assessment of the potential costs and benefits. That study is underway, but it has not been completed yet.
In a 2014 survey conducted by the Blue Star Families, they found that 95 percent of service members and their families use the military commissaries to buy goods in order to stay on budget.