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Eagle Hardware, community self help, more than just store

By: Victoria L. Moore

Date Posted: 1998-05-09

The Eagle Hardware Community Self Help Store will be holding their grand opening at 10:30 a.m. on May 22. "The Store" is not just your conventional hardware outlet. Sure you can get just about everything you need from renovating office space to installing a chain link fence. The only difference is the cost to you. The great benefit of the store is that there is no cost involved to most customers. You heard it, NO COST. I almost fell off the chair, when MSgt Loy Sparks, Superintendent Eagle Hardware, repeated the uncanny benefits of the store.

"Eagle Hardware is a benchmark for the Air Force. It is a combination of facilities and housing self help, but it's actually more than that. The Store provides our customer base with the ability to learn skills and techniques that will enable them to maintain, upgrade, renovate, or perform minor construction on their military family housing unit and office facilities. The Store is an Air Force first," says Sparks. He also told Japan Update, "The whole initiative began about one and one half to two years ago. The new Civil Engineers Group Commander, Col. Bradford, realized that with the vast amount of work requests and ever shrinking military force, the engineers group exuded the need for a new method of servicing their customers. The Store enables civil engineers to become a force multiplier. Providing the training, tools and equipment to empower the military community to enhance the quality of life both at home and on the job."

Currently the 18th Civil Engineers Group is responsible for island wide base housing. The housing facilities include a fluctuating 8,129 units across the entire island. In addition to Air Force Real Estate that encompasses all of Kadena and various other facilities on many of the other military bases including Foster, Kinser, Courtney, White Beach, and Okuma. There are Satellite Self Help Stores located on Camps Foster, Kinser and Courtney that provide 96 line items for housing customers to utilize for maintenance of their living quarters. The Store provides a wider range of items then ever before. Now customers can get vanity sinks, chain link fences, ceiling fans, plants, storage sheds and more.

Some of the items sinks may not be available for the grand opening. Sparks told Japan Update, "The new blanket purchase agreement (BPA), we have enables the store to provide a wider range of products and services because of their expedient delivery system."

Eagle Hardware is located on Kadena Air Base on Douglas Blvd. diagonally across from the Risner Fitness Center, opened on Mon. - Fri. from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on Sat. from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Store offers numerous programs to train and encourages customers to develop plans and skills to enhance their environment. Over 25 different video tapes for viewing on site will be available anytime the store is open. How-to books are also available for viewing. The Store gives its customers' pamphlets that they can actually keep which discuss the various do's, don't and tricks of the trade. There is also a CD ROM and computer software program that help the customer draw up design plans for renovation or minor construction projects. Other educational avenues are on site classes that can teach wood working, plumbing, and electrical skills. Every week fire hazard and safety briefings will be conducted in the facility expanded to include environmental, recycling and the stores' programs.

The Store is open to all military and DoD employees living in military housing island wide. In addition it also offers facility managers certified training, materials, tools and equipment to upgrade and renovate base facilities. The Store provides materials and services only for authorized base housing and base facility upgrades. The grand opening marks an evolution in the way base customers can expect great service and an enhanced quality of life on Okinawa.

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