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.
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.
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.