Mission and Vision

We are the Museum for America’s Surface Navy. The US Navy was founded in 1775 with two frigates and a small cadre of officers and sailors. Today, America’s Surface Navy is as important as ever and sails the world’s oceans ensuring security, democracy, and prosperity for the American people and the world.

Our History

The Battleship USS Iowa Museum opened to the public in 2012 and has grown to become one of the top museums and tourist attractions in Los Angeles. The pillars for the Museum’s success are Education, Veterans, and Community. Located in America’s busiest seaport, the Battleship IOWA is a natural showcase for the Surface Navy’s Museum. The Battleship IOWA continues to drive redevelopment on the LA waterfront. The Surface Navy’s Museum is being integrated into 30,000 sq. ft. of space aboard the Museum’s artifact #1, the historic Battleship USS Iowa.


Our Mission

The National Museum of the Surface Navy tells the story of the Surface Navy in order to raise America’s awareness of the importance of the United States Surface Naval Forces’ role in international relations, free trade, humanitarian assistance, and technological innovation, not just in the past but today and into the future.


Our Purpose

In fulfillment of our license by the US Navy and our (pending) Congressional Designation as the National Museum of the Surface Navy, we will:

  • Preserve and enhance the history and heritage of the United States Navy, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine’s Surface Naval Forces.
  • Inspire Americans to understand and embrace the contributions of the Surface Naval Forces in regards to the security, democracy, and prosperity of the United States and the world.
  • Provide a unique opportunity for all people to recognize the relevance of the Surface Naval Forces to themselves and the world for today and into the future.
  • Enable diverse communities to understand and embrace American strengths and values as exemplified by the sailors serving in America’s Surface Navy who are the face of our great nation.
  • Create and maintain a world-class campus aboard and pierside to the USS IOWA using galleries, exhibits, and storylines pertaining to the Surface Naval Forces.
  • Engage world-wide audiences by providing access to our collections, exhibits, and histories through innovative outreach, distance learning, new media, and creative museum experiences.
  • Present programs, forums, and other activities pertinent to the Surface Naval Forces to encourage communications and understanding the Surface Navy’s contributions to resolving America’s national security and other challenges.

And, in order to continue our growth to exemplify the vision of Museum 2040, we will:

  • Educate the youngest generation of Americans in STEM concepts and in the idea of a career of service – both hallmarks of the Surface Naval Forces.
  • Serve as an integrator for care and comradery for service members, veterans, and their families as deserved for their service to American and the world.
  • Provide a catalyst for community and business development to strengthen the neighborhoods surrounding the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest seaport in America.