Congrats, Los Angeles! We've Been Awarded a Battleship!
The USS Iowa, a vessel used in battle during World War II, is headed to a new home in the Port of Los Angeles. The Navy has announced that the ship has been awarded to the Pacific Battleship Center, a nonprofit organization, and the Iowa will ultimately call Berth 87 in San Pedro home, according to the Daily Breeze.
Getting the Iowa is actually quite an honor, and it is expected to do much to help draw tourists (and their almighty dollars) to the waterfront area.
The USS Iowa has a pretty remarkable history since its keel was first laid down in June, 1940 in the Navy's Brooklyn, New York shipyard. Equipped with a special bathtub for then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Iowa was commissioned in 1943, and saw battle in World War II, and the Korean War. The Iowa was revived under then-President Ronald Reagan's 600-ship Navy plan in the early 80s, the vessel was modernized and returned to use for a few years. The ship was decommissioned for the last time on October 26th, 1990.
The ship will head to L.A. most likely next month, depending on the tides and the weather, and following the completion of some necessary national-level paperwork. Once in Southern California, the Iowa will get a hull cleaning, and then get some work done to make her ready to welcome aboard the expected tourists.
No matter how "out of use" the Iowa gets, though, or tread-worn with the footsteps of thousands of tourists, she must still remain in ship-shape in case she needs to be used yet again.
Congress has ordered that the following measures be implemented to ensure that, if need be, Iowa can be returned to active duty: 1. Iowa must not be altered in any way that would impair her military utility;
2. The battleship must be preserved in her present condition through the continued use of cathodic protection, dehumidification systems, and any other preservation methods as needed;
3. Spare parts and unique equipment such as the 16-inch (410 mm) gun barrels and projectiles must be preserved in adequate numbers to support Iowa, if reactivated;
4. The Navy must prepare plans for the rapid reactivation of Iowa should she be returned to the Navy in the event of a national emergency.