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San Francisco Rejects Battleship

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This is nothing new.

Back in the 80's when President Regan was building up our military. A few old Battleships were recommissioned (Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri & ?)

When the Navy was looking for a home port for the Missouri and her escorts, they considered SF. They were looking at Hunters Point Naval Base that was closed after Vietnam. (Hunters Point was/is one of the poorest areas in SF) This would have brought a lot of money and jobs into the area.

Well the SF City Council demanded that the Navy declare that there would not be any Nuclear weapons plus they wanted input where it might be deployed.

What a joke! Needless to say, it was home ported in Long Beach.


Before it goes to Stockton, maybe a few rounds from her main guns (16") should be dropped on City Hall, and for good measure a few at the Peoples Republic of Berkley too!

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I did a web search for this story and most of it is from the summer of 2005. There appears to be another push to bring the issue up before the Supervisors, with some changes to the museum with additional exhibits planned (such as an exhibit on the history of gays and lesbians in the military which would be appropriate in San Francisco, though I'm sure there are those who would say it isn't appropriate at all - I'm not going to debate that issue (Part of the history would likely include General (later President) Eisenhower's refusal to authorize an active hunt for gays and lesbians to discharge from the military during WW2 - his wartime secretary was an out lesbian - enough said)).


However, it is still likely to fail (unless that vote was taken recently but I can't find any thing that mentions a second vote being taken - which leads me to wonder how this became a story here now).


Further, it would only take the votes of six supervisors to authorize this. This is an important point - of the 8 supervisors who voted this proposal down, 3 of them voted it down not because of anti-war sentiments but because of serious financial concerns - the battleship is not tourist ready and will, according to the reports I've read, require a substantial amount of money to get it ready - at the first vote, the group trying to bring the Iowa in weren't prepared to make any financial guarantees though they appear to be willing to do so now - but there is still some question that it is enough and those opposed financially the acceptance of the Iowa apparently still aren't convinced.


Now for the kicker - there is a proposal out there to transfer the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier, to San Francisco from Alameda instead of the Iowa. The Hornet is in much better shape and is already tourist friendly (it's an attraction at Alameda but its much more difficult to get to see it in this post-911 world). The proposal already has the support of 4 of the supervisors, including one that voted the Iowa down because of financial concerns. The supporters of the Hornet are fairly confident they can get the support of the other 2 supervisors who voted down the Iowa because of financial concerns. That would be the 6 votes they would need. As I understand it, there is also a possibility that one of the other supervisors may be willing to vote for the Hornet if it also includes a gay and lesbian in the military exhibit - his opposition to the Iowa appears to be less about opposition to the war (though he is opposed to the war) than to displeasure with "don't ask, don't tell).


One more point, San Francisco is home to the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, a unit of the National Park Service. The USS Iowa could conceivably be housed there (if they still have room) without needing any backing from the City but it doesn't look like the NPS wants it either - could it be because it would just cost too much to restore?





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The cost to refurbish the USS Iowa will be big, but not as much as you might think. This ship was decommissioned in 1990, not after WW2 as some think.


I do think that SF does not deserve the honor of having such a ship. The USS Hornet should be moved also. The history of the area (Vietnam to the present) has been nothing short of anti-military.

Too many fools there can not seperate the military from the Politics of DC. But they sure want the Federal Money.

It's sad that those idiots can not respect and understand that it's that same military they protest and spit upon, that made it possible for them to have those rights they exercise.

Freedom is not Free.

As for a Gay museum on or by the USS Iowa, that is just pandering, like the idiots who tried to disgrace the Twin Towers memorial with a "World Peace Museum". A farce that was hypercritical of the US , more than the terrorists.

Thank God that was stopped.

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Like many here, I am also convinced that the city of SF has clouded its reasoning with its own special blend of politics along with a touch of 60's liberal ideology. As a retired US Navy boiler technician 1st class(BT1sw), I will atest to the enormous cost and labor intense effort just maintaining ANY decommissioned former Navy ship even in a static (non-functional) disply staus.


Just ensuring the watertight integrity of the hull on a day to day basis is going to keep several people fully employed, and these folks will NOT be entry level security guard types.


Also manditory will be an operable fresh water and firemain system. Lets also not forget the systems to monitor those spaces not regularly toured by the sounding and security watch, which entails yet more expense to purchase and install remote fire and flooding monitoring/alarm systems.


I would'nt want to forget the ships electrical system either, granted it will only be used for interior lighting, but is nonetheless essential and costly to keep up as it is not at all like the electrical system in most homes.


Lastly, the upkeep and preservation of ANY ships interior and exterior surfaces is an ongoing job that never goes away or is done. After all, a ship exists in an environment that is not friendly to metal. The cathodic protection sytem HAS to be kept operable or else the rust and rot WILL win.


I have not wrote this to discourage or be a wet blanket regarding keeping and displaying worthy examples of our proud US Navys ships. I only hope to inform all reading this to the ultimate reality of what it will take to keep such a vessel in the proper condition as befits it.

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Yes, the costs are pretty staggering. Hull maintenance for a battleship isn't a big item, but the cost of chipping rust and painting superstructure and interior spaces is. You also have the same problems as you would in maintaining a large building. Ours (USS Missouri) has an air conditioning system that was put in to operate on shore power. The ship was air conditioned when it was modernized, but apparently it didn't do the job.


One major factor is hazardous materials. If the EPA gets involved, you will spend a fortune getting out the asbestos and pcbs. We still have areas of the ship that can't be visited by the public because of the cleanup. Broadway and engine spaces are only accessible because Disney wanted to use it in the movie Pearl Harbor. That 15 second scene when Cuba Gooding, Jr. is carrying a tray of food to the Captain at the start of the attack.


We also pay about $6000 a month to dock the ship at Pearl Harbor. It uses a dock designed for an Iowa class ship with shore power, water and other hook ups in place. Lot of expense. But, a lot of revenue.


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First of all Thank you for you service to our country.

The issue is no about the cost of upkeep or renovation. That is a red herring. There are many cities in the country who have decommissioned naval ships. I'm sure the cost is not small. But I'm also sure that it is very possible to do.

The real issue is the SF is a ultra-left, anti-military city. They can not seperate current DC politics from the military.

Their rant about the war in Iraq, gays in the military, etc. has nothing to do with the USS Iowa.

It's my opinion that SF does not deserve the "honor" of having the USS Iowa there.


It would be poetic justice if the next terrorist attack would happen at SF City hall.


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Cap'nRon, just because somebody doesn't agree with you doesn't mean they deserve to die.


I am in SF on a weekly basis. I don't want to become collatoral damage. Hopefully the Scouts who go there to fulfill their Citz/Community merit badge won't either.


You should apologize or be demoted from your captainship.


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OK guys, you're right.

I did go over the top with the terrorist attack. I apologize. I do not wish any physical harm to anyone.

The thought I was trying to convey with the statement is that, if something of that nature were to happen, maybe their understanding of what the military is and does would change.

Every "right" they have their was won and kept safe by the military. Yet there are so many (especially in places like SF) that have no clue, and wonder why we even have a military. If "they" had their way (no military), the possibility of another attack would definitely happen. Would they then wake up?


The main point on the USS Iowa that I was trying to make is the such a place like SF, with it's attitudes towards the military is no place for the USS Iowa.

They should find new homes for the "other" warships that are docked there. SF does not deserve that "honor".

Strange that places like NYC can "stand" to have warships like the USS Iowa.

Freedom is not Free

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I find it perplexing that the city of SF has the negative feelings its purported to have now, you see, when I visited SF as a crewmember of both the USS Lynde McCormick and the USS New Orleans during the city's annual Fleet Week celebrations in the late 1980's and early 1990's, we were treated well by all we met.


The ships crews were required to wear their uniforms while on liberty and there was no adverse feelings or hostility directed at the sailors that I can recall. In fact, the program to invite sailors out on the town or to a private home for dinner were very popular. I had heard that there were more folks signed up as hosts than there were sailors willing to be guests.


Keeping to topic,...I cant help but think how a Sea Scout Ships crew could benefit from the presence of an older Naval vessel as a place to meet and learn. By learning, I mean such nautical subjects as small boat handling,marlin-spike seamanship,basic damage-control and firefighting.


I imagine a battleship(BB) may be a bit large for a SSS crew, perhaps something like a retired yard oiler(YO),or a Minesweeper(MSO).Just thinking out loud I suppose...but it does pose some positive possibilites.


CaptRon;I am glad you are not about to use SF for NGFS practice. I have little sympathy for those as far to the left of left as SF and the aptly named Peoples Republic of Berkley(PRB), just the same they are still citizens of OUR great nation and it would be in bad form to see them come to harm through any terrorist action.


We stick together,...or we sink together.

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