Phase 1: Core Experience
Opening on the 250th birthday of the Navy, October 13, 2025
 Phase 2: Expanded Exploration
Planned to open in 2028 aboard Battleship IOWA
 Phase 3: Freedom of the Seas Park and Pavilion
A park and community use pavilion adjacent to the National Museum of the Surface Navy aboard Battleship IOWA
 Phase 4: Deep Dive Experience
Immersing the visitor into the story of the Surface Navy
THE CAMPAIGN FOR FREEDOM OF THE SEAS
Promoting Peace and Prosperity Around the Globe
Now and for generations to come.
The campaign for Freedom of the Seas to build the National Museum of the Surface Navy at the Battleship IOWA.
Our vision for the museum is to inspire global awareness of freedom of the seas.
Our mission is to ignite curiosity, connect communities, and enhance understanding of America’s role in maritime peace and prosperity.
Why the Campaign Matters
The coffee we drink, the goods we rely on, and the jobs that sustain us rely on free and open access to the worlds oceans.
…and less than 40% see the Navy and our Surface Navy as important in protecting it.
The Freedom of the Seas campaign to build the National Museum of the Surface Navy is dedicated to promoting peace and prosperity around the globe, now and for future generations. We are also endeavoring to enhance education and inspiration around the multifaceted role the Navy plays in so many important ways. A centerpiece of those efforts is an exciting expansion of our facilities and programs centered at the USS IOWA moored at the Los Angeles waterfront near Long Beach, the busiest port complex in the Western Hemisphere. The National Museum of the Surface Navy will be a next-generation complex that ignites curiosity, connects communities, and and enhances understanding through knowledge and shared experience. It will encompass additions to the shipboard National Museum of the Surface Navy as well as a range of impressive pier-side installations.
We invite you to join us on the journey to inspire global awareness of freedom of the seas.
The Freedom of the Seas campaign to build the National Museum of the Surface Navy is led by the Pacific Battleship Center, the 501(c)3 non-profit that owns and operates the Battleship IOWA, a top 5 Los Angeles museum and attraction.
PHASE 1: CORE EXPERIENCE
Opening October 13, 2025
Location: Aboard Battleship IOWA
The National Museum of the Surface Navy Core Experience shares the “core” story of the people, missions, and assets of the Surface Navy necessary to safeguard Freedom of the Seas. The visitor is immersed in modern story-telling layering the three core facets and activated in an in-situ environment to create an experience unlike seen before. The entire experience spans existing publicly accessible areas aboard the Battleship IOWA with a multitude of buildups to what we call “Wows!”.
- Concept completed early 2024.
- Schematic completed NLT September 2024.
- Production and Installation completed October 2025.
Budget: Approx. $8.5m.
Additional Sponsor Opportunities:
- Arrival: Surface Navy Hero Tunnel
- Lost at Sea Update
- Gunnery at Sea Update
PHASE 2: EXPANDED EXPERIENCE
Opening planned for late 2028*
Location: Aboard Battleship IOWA
The National Museum of the Surface Navy Expanded Exploration triples the amount of programmable space to build on the core experience with an expansion on the people, mission, and asset stories. The story of our oceans is huge, safeguarding them is a major undertaking, and the variety of skills and people necessary to accomplish the mission are significant. We will continue developing showcase and thread concepts with this broad community of supporters to introduce new concepts in storytelling and experience delivery. From Boatswain Mate to Admiral and everything in between, the Expanded Exploration will delve deeper into the story further than seen before.
Timeline (subject to funding):
- Concept completed by early-2027.
- Schematic completed by mid-2027.
- Production and Installation completed late-2028.
Budget: Approx. $31m including m&o endowment.
PHASE 3: PARK & PAVILION
Opening planned for 2030
Location: Pierside adjacent to Battleship IOWA
The Freedom of the Seas Park and Pavilion significantly expands our ability to continue to provide no-cost community resiliency and education programming to the Los Angeles region. The approx. 2/3-acre project includes a 35,000 square foot public access veterans-oriented park and a 5,000 square foot multi-purpose community and education center. We are in a park poor and disadvantaged location within the City of Los Angeles which has limited space to support the community with multi-use space and parks which ultimately strengthen quality of life and community resiliency. Additionally, San Pedro and the surrounding area has served as home to one of the largest veterans’ populations in California, but unfortunately there is no location that honors their service on the Los Angeles waterfront. The 35,000 square foot waterfront park will provide an opportunity for the community and veterans to come together and reflect, while providing a safe recreation space for families. The community center like pavilion will amplify our reach and impact in numerous no-cost programs focused on community resiliency, edcuation, and veterans services. The State of California with Assemblymember Mike Gipson’s help supported this project with $6.7 million.
Timeline (subject to final location determination and funding):
- Concept pending relocation determination by the Port of Los Angeles.
- Schematic pending relocation determination by the Port of Los Angeles.
- Production and Installation pending relocation determination by the Port of Los Angeles.
Total estimated budget including additional building and park space with m&o endowment is $36m
PHASE 4: DEEP DIVE EXPERIENCE
Opening planned for late 2034*
Location: Aboard Battleship IOWA and Pierside
The National Museum of the Surface Navy Deep Dive Experience activates the programmed space with immersive threads, technology updates, and a seemingless endless connection of stories. A self-discovering journey that is adjustable to those that skim, swim, or deep dive creating a dynamic memorable experience. It is a multi-hour wrap up of the interconnected showcases, spaces, and programs creating a next level 2040 museum experience.
Timeline (subject to funding):
- Concept completed by mid-2032.
- Schematic completed by early-2033.
- Production and Installation completed mid-2034.
Budget: Approx. $65m including m&o endowment.
A DECADE OF SUCCESS*
- 2012 – Battleship IOWA Museum, #4 rated Los Angeles Museum
- 2014 – STEM Education Programs
- 2016 – First LA Fleet Week, Community Resiliency Programming, Industry Experts in Hull Preservation
- 2019 – “National Museum of the Surface Navy” (NMSN) Licensed by the US Navy
- 2019 – Established Veterans West
- 2021 – Congressionally licensed “National Museum of the Surface Navy”
- 2022 – Opened Vicky’s Doghouse, a top-rated food venue
EXISTING ANNUAL IMPACT*
- Education for over 20,000 students
- Direct services for over 7,500 veterans
- Connection opportunities for over 250,000 guests at LA Fleet Weeks
- Experiences and events for 12,500 veterans
- Approximately $11.4MM annually for local economy, sustaining 280 jobs
- LA Waterfront Anchor Attraction and LA’s #4 Museum
PROVIDES MEASURABLE GROWTH
- 2X Tour & Education Capacity
- 2X Economic Impact & Jobs Supported
- 3X Classroom Capacity for Youth
- 5X Program & Event Capacity
*Numbers are for existing Battleship IOWA Museum.
This museum is an effort led by the Pacific Battleship Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit.
How can you help?
WANT TO RECEIVE UPDATES?
All you need to do is become a Plank Owner for FREE and receive the following benefits:
- Regular e-updates on the museum.
- Memorialize your service or a loved one's in our Quarterdeck of Honor.
- A commemorative Plank Owner certificate customized with your name.
- Donate and receive even more!
ADDRESS / PHONE
Pacific Battleship Center dba National Museum of the Surface Navy
250 S. Harbor Blvd.
San Pedro, CA 90731
Phone: 877-446-9261 ext. 747
Pacific Battleship Center is a highly-rated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, CA. Currently the organization operates the Battleship IOWA Museum as a top 5 attraction in Southern California.
Click here for more information.