WASHINGTON -- Reps. Nancy Pelosi and George Miller said today that the Navy notified them Thursday of its intention to move the historic battleship USS Iowa from Newport, R.I., to Northern California’s MARAD facility at Suisun Bay in Northern California.
"Relocating the Iowa to the Maritime Administration facility and deactivating this historic battleship in Suisun Bay will be mutually beneficial to both the Navy and Northern California," said Pelosi and Miller after receiving written notification from Navy Secretary Richard Danzig on Thursday. "It will put us in a favorable position in 2004 to keep the Iowa here permanently for the historic and public benefit of California and the Bay Area."
Pelosi and Miller explained that in 2004 the Navy will put the battleship on "donation status," putting it up for public bid. While there is no guarantee that the Bay Area would acquire the ship as a result of the open bidding process, having it relocated to Northern California prior to the sale would reduce overall costs such as towing.
Last year Congress, at the request of Pelosi, Miller and other California Bay Area delegation members, approved $3 million for the transfer of the historic battleship from Rhode Island to California.