New exhibit being added to USS Orleck as City Council considers fast-tracking move to Shipyards

It’s shaping up to be a busy day for the USS Orleck.

First, Jacksonville’s naval museum is scheduled to have some new equipment delivered, then the Jacksonville City Council will take up a plan for the vessel to move from its downtown riverwalk location to a new, permanent home at the Shipyards development.

The proposal is a plan to build a parking spot for the vessel. It’s essentially a fast-track plan to get the “mooring” equipment installed — secure points to tie the boat to the dock.

The Jacksonville City Council will have a discussion Tuesday night to grant the project a four-month construction easement or special permission to get things built.

Museum District growing: USS Orleck’s next move 3 to 6 months away

The USS Orleck was never meant to stay on the Northbank permanently. The Orleck arrived in the River City from Texas in March and was converted into a museum, which cost more than $2 million.

The end goal though is to have this vessel be the centerpiece of the city’s naval museum.

Meanwhile, there’s a new exhibit being installed this week on the ship’s flight deck — a 1960s-era unmanned drone.

New exhibit added to USS Orleck

A decade before America landed a man on the moon, the US Navy developed the QH-50 DASH, which stands for Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter. These things are rare with fewer than 800 built.

The challenge, though, is getting the drone onto the flight deck, which requires a special crane to lift the aircraft and put it in place. That is scheduled to happen around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The Orleck is the most decorated post-World War II ship, having served for nearly 80 years through the Korean, Vietnam and Cold War periods.

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