Lodging operations closing at nine Air Force facilities, including Vance

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Lodging operations at nine Air Force facilities, to include Vance, are closing. The Cherokee Lodge here is scheduled to close July 15.

Airmen, retirees and families requiring billeting facilities should seek accommodations within the city of Enid. There is no requirement for active duty and government service civilians to provide nonavailability information within the Defense Travel System when government lodging is not available.

The decision to shutter Vance’s lodging and temporary living facilities was part of a Department of the Air Force divesture of such facilities at many installations. The decisions were made in response to a DoD memorandum directing the conversion of temporary duty and permanent change of station lodging to fully nonappropriated fund operations in fiscal 2020. 

In response to this memorandum the Air Force Services Center conducted a review of Air Force lodging operations to ensure the programs retained the ability to meet mission requirements. While not-for-profit, Air Force Inns, under this new model, were required to be self-sustaining without the support of appropriated, or taxpayer, funds.

After careful analysis and coordination, the Air Force approved the full divestiture of lodging operations at nine installations, including Vance Air Force Base, and right-sizing operations at 37 others. The Air Force Lodging inventory currently has 977 buildings (24,546 rooms) across 87 installations and is transitioning to 921 buildings (23,810 rooms) across 78 installations. 

According to an October 2022 press release, the AFSVC continues to review additional installation lodging operations for proposed divestiture. When complete, the overall inventory will enable substantial facility, sustainment, restoration and modernization savings, the release stated. 

“In order to maintain quality and meet standards, we must continue to evaluate lodging facilities at all installations," said Janae Sergio, Air Force Lodging chief, in the press release. "Certain lodging operations will be reduced in size or closed to ensure the Air Force can maintain its lodging portfolio and reinvest to meet current and future program needs." 

The closure actions will be complete by mid fiscal 2023.

"Over the past two decades, declining appropriated fund support drove resourcing decisions deferring higher-cost facility sustainment and maintenance items for buildings throughout the lodging portfolio," said Victoria Fragomeli, AFSVC Business Operations director, in the release.

The review evaluated each installation's lodging, current inventory conditions, historical occupancy rates, and projected future needs. Assessments included: actual usage data by active-duty military temporary duty and permanent change of station members and families; age and condition of facilities; costs to maintain and replace facilities; and the availability of off-base hotels. 

Properties identified for closure, including the Cherokee Lodge here, have historically low occupancy during non-COVID-19 years; have aging room inventories with high facility, sustainment, recapitalization, and modernization repair costs; or are small operations with fewer than 85 rooms, Sergio said.

In August 2022 the Air Force approved the following installations, including Vance, to shutter their lodging facilities: 
Los Angeles Air Force Base, California
Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee
Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts
Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma
Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota 
Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida
Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania