The Long-Term Goal
Creating One of the Nation's Most Inspiring Naval Museums and Memorials
IOWA has been reclassified from her status as a mobilization asset and taken off the Naval Vessel Register. HSMPS has drafted its formal proposal to acquire the U.S.S. Iowa as a memorial and naval museum. This is the organization's fourth updated version proposal for U.S.S. Iowa. The first was submitted in 1998, shortly before the battleship was returned to reserve status from donation hold status. The last version was communicated to the Navy in October 2010. To date, HSMPS has over 2,000 pages of technical studies, mooring plans, financial analysis, museum plans, maintenance protocols, letters of endorsement and more on file with the Navy. HSMPS enjoys a spotless relationship of almost 14 years with Naval Sea Systems Command. Our goal is to craft the finest application ever presented to the ship donation program. This is a prime directive of HSMPS and a core mission statement.
Should IOWA be awarded to HSMPS as a museum ship, Mare Island will provide a stunning berth for the battleship, with a vista from the City of Vallejo that will provide a broadside, striking view of U.S.S. Iowa. Moored in a regional county setting populated by over 2 million residents, that is frequented by another 5 million tourists from San Francisco that visit the wine country, U.S.S. Iowa will be a popular destination in an economically developed and culturally vibrant region.
As a museum ship, HSMPS will work to make IOWA's weather decks and much of her internal spaces available for public visitation--this would include:
Both safety and educational content will be commanding themes when the public visits one of the greatest ships ever constructed by the American people. Paid staff and volunteers will ensure that daytime visitors and youngsters in the overnight program will experience one of the most memorable occasions of their lives visiting the IOWA. We fully expect that U.S.S. Iowa will change and impress all who visit her.
If awarded custodianship of IOWA as a museum ship, HSMPS will ensure that BB-61 is well maintained by an onboard, full-time maintenance workforce. HSMPS will strive to have her teak decks shine, her brass sparkle, her battleship gray remain rust free. Internally, we will ensure that her compartments are clean and that the safety of staff and visitors is always ensured. We will place a high value on security to preserve IOWA in her pristine, combat worthy condition. Finally, our maintenance staff will ensure that her hull is maintained and the battleship's equipment is preserved using industry proven techniques. HSMPS plans to have one of the best funded repair and maintenance budgets of any museum ship in the nation.
Pier-side, HSMPS anticipates placing a museum, video theater and visitor rest area. The projected museum will engage a number of mediums (audio, pictorial, photographic, glass case display, computer graphics) to achieve its main theme--describing IOWA and life aboard the battleship. Here visitors can view displays which will summarize the evolution of American naval policy and the role of sea power in defining the global arms race in the 20th century. The U.S.S. Iowa provides an unique insight into global history from a naval perspective. Along these lines, we view IOWA as highly representative of World War II, Korea and the Cold War--all subjects of intense, current historical review as witnessed by displays at the Smithsonian, the extensively publicized national commemoration of the Korean War, and a CNN television special on the Cold War. The museum's collection will tell a story of an enormously rich naval legacy. IOWA will also symbolize the sacrifices that our service personnel make in peace as well as war, recalling one of the worst peacetime tragedies in the Navy's history when Gun Turret No. 2 experienced a devastating explosion. This theme is particularly relevant following the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen. In all aspects, museum procedures will follow guidelines recommended by the Naval Historical Center.
In summary, we envision the shore-side visitor interpretative center as offering:
In summary, HSMPS has worked for nearly ten years to place the U.S.S. Iowa in the Bay Area. All agree that the preserved Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, as one of the most historic sites in the nation is a wonderful and dignified site for U.S.S. Iowa. Thanks to strong local and national support as well as Congressional endorsements in both the House of Representatives and the Senate for a Bay Area exhibit, the U.S.S. Iowa berthed at the City of Vallejo and Mare Island Naval Shipyard enjoys a uniquely robust and popular support base. As a ship that has served this Republic for almost a quarter of our nation's history, IOWA symbolizes a priceless piece of our collective naval history and stands to provide outstanding, multifaceted benefits to the nation. For us all, she is a national trust to preserve and service. U.S.S. Iowa at Mare Island, Vallejo, promises to be one of the nation's most revered and well-known monuments.
To help us continue with the project of preparing an educational and museum program for visitors and students about U.S.S. Iowa as well as funding preparations for U.S.S. Iowa as a memorial and museum now that she has been retired from the reserves, please consider becoming a donor member or providing services. Your help is needed. Refer to our Ship's Store and Membership page and thank you.
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