Now Here This, Now Here This! A Special Announcement from the Secretary of the Navy.
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus announced today that the United States Navy has donated the Battleship USS Iowa to the Pacific Battleship Center, a Los Angeles‐based nonprofit on course to turn the ship into a permanent museum and memorial at the Port of Los Angeles.
The donation of the USS Iowa to the Pacific Battleship Center, under the Navy’s ship donation program, is the culmination of years of work by many dedicated volunteers. The USS Iowa is the only Iowa‐class battleship that has not been saved and turned into a permanent museum,and was the last battleship available for donation.
“We want to thank the Secretary of the Navy, and the entire United States Navy, for the donation of the USS Iowa to the Pacific Battleship Center,” stated Robert Kent, the President of the nonprofit. “With this award, the USS Iowa will become a permanent museum, memorial and educational center. We can now move forward with the work necessary to restore the ship and to bring her to the Port of Los Angeles.
”The Pacific Battleship Center acknowledged the support and thousands of hours volunteers have contributed to this project. “Without the support of our volunteers, the people of the Los Angeles area and the people of the State of Iowa, this dream would not have become a reality,”stated Kent.
While there are too many people to thank for this great achievement, we do want to make special mention of the efforts of Congressman Buck McKeon, Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles City Council and their President, Eric Garcetti, the Los AngelesHarbor Commission and their President, Cindy Miscikowski, and Craig Nelson of Torrey‐PinesBank. This award also would not have happened without the tireless support of former Los Angeles City Councilwoman and current Congresswoman Janice Hahn. “Without the persistence of Congresswoman Hahn, the USS Iowa would not be coming to the Port of LosAngeles,” remarked Kent.
The people of Iowa were also instrumental in making this day a reality. We would like to thank Governor Terry Branstad and the Iowa Legislature for their support in appropriating $3 million this year for the restoration of the USS Iowa. The entire Iowa Congressional Delegation also supported the efforts to bring the USS Iowa to Los Angeles. Robert Kent commented, “I would like to particularly thank Congressman Tom Latham and Senator Charles Grassley, for their special efforts to help ensure that the USS Iowa becomes a permanent memorial for all of our citizens.”
As the Pacific Battleship Center moves forward with the restoration and relocation of the USS Iowa, there are still numerous opportunities to be part of this historic project. You may contact the USS Iowa’s new caretakers at www.pacificbattleship.com.
I could not be more proud of the people of the non-profit organization Pacific Battleship Center who have worked so hard to make this a reality. Robert Kent and Trish Place, and hundreds of other volunteers have donated countless hours to bring this great ship back to life and deserve a huge amount credit and appreciation for a job well done. I have written before about the USS Iowa and the goal bring her to San Pedro where she will take on a new mission as a living history museum, and education center dedicated to the men and women who served in our armed forces and aboard great ships like the USS Iowa.