An amendment to a sublease for a "base exchange" store was approved recently by the Fort Smith Airport Commission for the 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard at Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith.
It will be the first BX facility for the 188th Wing. Another similar "post exchange" is at Fort Chaffee, but does not focus on Air Force related materials. The BX will also offer foods and drinks to the crews operating remotely piloted aircraft on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week bases.
Acceptance was contingent on some minor legal wording changes. Mark Moll, the airport's attorney, said Tuesday he was confident the changes would be agreed upon so the project can move forward and be constructed in the coming months.
Approval of a sub-lease request to a nonprofit third party, Arkansas National Guard MWR, was originally approved in August by the commission but there was legal wording hangups that needed clarification.
The original lease with the Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force only allowed sub-leasing for “training” practices. The lease amendment allows the BX facility as a non-training facility, as well as acceptance of the new name for the group that operates it from the Camp Robinson Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund Inc., to the Arkansas National Guard Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund Inc.
The “BX” is planned for creation in Building 212 at Ebbing Air National Guard base at the Fort Smith Regional Airport. According to a floor plan provided by the airport’s attorney, Mark Moll, the proposed BX facility will be take up about 1,500 square feet. It will be adjoined to the “common use” areas for the 188th Wings medical supplies and other storage.