NS Everett Community
NAWSCL Commissary Open Following Recent Earthquakes
Story by PO1 Joshua Hammond on 07/22/2019
CHINA LAKE, California Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake’s (NAWSCL) base commissary is open for business despite the recent earthquakes.
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was affected by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which occurred near NAWSCL and the city of Ridgecrest, Calif., July 5 and a 6.4 magnitude earthquake one day prior.
Immediately following the earthquakes employees from Naval Facilities Engineering Command began the task of assessing over 1,300 buildings located across NAWSCL, to include the base commissary. A few days later when the managers and clerks of the commissary where told that it was safe to reenter and begin the cleanup, they found that they were going to have to throw away over $188,000 of spoiled or damaged merchandise.
“The commissary closed early on July 4th due to the first quake,” recalls Store Manager NAWSCL Commissary Philippe Gonzaga. “When we did finally get back into the store on the 7th we found the power was out, so the meats and dairies had spoiled and a there was also a lot of broken glass from the stuff that fell off the shelves.”
Customers were not able to enter the commissary, but the store had items for sale outside and sales associates were working to ensure that every customer was able to purchase anything in the store that didn’t spoil.
“Customers could come up to the door and if they knew what they wanted we would walk through the store and pull the products off the shelves for them,” explains Gonzaga. “Unfortunately, a lot of the customers that did come up were asking for frozen food or milk and we lost our whole inventory of that.”
For some people being able to shop on base again is more than just convenience and savings, it’s about a return to their normal day-to-day life.
“I am so happy to see that it’s open,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Aircraft Handling Emmanuel Joseph. “It’s so convenient to be able to come out here and get everything I need and because it’s so close I get to spend more time with my family.”
Despite the NAWSCL commissary not being back to 100 percent, the commissary will be open to its patrons Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and is expecting to have the bulk of the items back on the shelves ready for purchase Tuesday morning when they open.