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CEO Update: May 8, 2024

May 8, 2024


Welcome to May, a month in which our nation shows its appreciation for our military, honors the fallen, and marks the beginning of the Fleet Week season. This week marks the inaugural Miami Fleet Week, and from May 21st to the 27th, Los Angeles will host LA Fleet Week concurrently with New York Fleet Week. The planning team, including several members of the IOWA/NMSN team, has been hard at work to plan the Los Angeles region’s largest event.

Annually, LA Fleet Week connects more than 250,000 people with our military through over 100 different programs, including leadership seminars, exercises, community service projects, band performances, excursions, festival activities, and ship tours. Bringing LA Fleet Week to life is no small task, and we are blessed to be part of a core planning team comprised of personnel from the City of Los Angeles, Port of Los Angeles, public safety agencies, USO, the military, and an overall planning team that includes several other organizations and sponsors.

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LA Fleet Week doesn’t slow our team down; it only motivates them to show their best. As with many museum ships, the crew is proud to preserve, program, and showcase their ship to the community and visitors alike. The ship is buzzing with activity and excitement as we prepare to open phase 1 of the National Museum of the Surface Navy in 2025.

An incomplete summary of current activities includes:

  • The South yard cleanup is underway so that we can clear out the space for the construction of the Freedom of the Seas pavilion.
    • The Operations Team came out in force for this initiative, including several members of the Richmond crew.
    • Although this project was significant in its own right, the team continued progress on the hull, replaced the Turret 3 faux bucklers (as the real ones disappeared when the ship was mothballed), and responded to the numerous tasks that naturally occur with an 81-year-old ship.
  • The Education Team is preparing the outreach van and trailer to be deployed at the beginning of the next school year.
    • Thank you to crew member Don Genereux for funding the necessary van repairs.
    • The remaining steps to get the van ready include a new trailer wrap, software, and a tow package for the van.  
    • This is occurring with a ramp up in our annual Camp Battleship program and school field trips. If you are interested in supporting or bringing a group, please reach out to Tiffany or Kyle at
  • View the deck being installed by Teak Deck Systems on the bridge wings. This area is the first in which we are exploring the new product, and thus far, we are impressed. We are looking forward to replacing the decks in the areas most needing them with the pending funding from the state of Iowa. Thank you to Dr. Wood (Stan Sato) for taking on the Project Manager role.
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  • The Sales & Marketing Team has hosted several tourism professional tours lately, with the annual IPW show locally. Kudos to this team, especially Catherine Moreno, as they are also working on several initiatives related to LA Fleet Week.
  • We are once again revamping our visitor boarding procedures and ticketing process.
    • In the coming weeks, we will be deploying self-serve kiosks, repositioning the full-service station, and monitoring the challenges and successes related to it.
    • We will welcome new guides who will help support the growing add-on tour products, especially as we go into the busy summer season.
    • Following these initiatives, our Tour Team is planning to look at ways to improve our existing experience.

It is easy to forget the unsung heroes of our organization from the various support departments, but without them, we wouldn’t be who we are today. They are each working on several initiatives to grow, simplify, and make the greatest impact.

A shoutout to these departments including Accounting, IT, Curatorial, Safety & Security, Events, Training, Retail, Volunteer Services, IET, BIARA Radio Team, Veterans West, and VPAN.  This is in addition to our national boards, ambassadors, and volunteers who represent our organization in their respective communities.

We need your support to continue our progress in inspiring curiosity, connecting communities, and enhancing understanding of America’s role in maritime peace and prosperity. Please consider donating or exploring the various needs and opportunities by contacting our development team at

Please remember to show your appreciation for our military, honor our nation’s fallen, and come visit us during LA Fleet Week 2024!

Jonathan Williams
President and CEO

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NOTE: If you prefer not to donate electronically, please mail your check to:
Attention: Development Department, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731

Thank you to our 2022 donors for their generosity and support. Want to know how your donations are making a difference? Check out our ANNUAL REPORT here.

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