The National Museum of the Marine Corps is about to temporarily shut down for a massive reboot.
From Jan. 04 to March 31, tThe Marine’smuseum near Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Triangle, Virginia, will close to the public from Jan. 4 through March 31 as it enters the next phase of its seven-year, $100 million update. New exhibits will showcase to include the history of the Marine Corps from 1976 to the present day.
Two new aircraft will be added to its Leatherneck Gallery during the closing: a recently restored SBD Dauntless dive bomber from World War II and a Sikorsky UH-34D helicopter from Vietnam.
"While we never like to close the doors of our museum, this process will better enable us to tell the stories of every American who has earned the title ‘Marine,’ " Lt. Gen. Robert Blackman, Jr., president and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, said in press release. "Marine Corps history is American history, and we look forward to sharing these impressive pieces of our past with visitors from around the country and around the world." he said.
The museum, which currently tells 200 years of Marine Corps history from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam, has been open and free to the public since its debut in 2006 opening.
It currently draws about approximately a half million visitors annually.
The expansion, which began in broke ground last March, will be completed in 2020 and will to nearly double the size of the complexadd an additional 117,000 square feet is added onto the existing space. New additions will include an IMAX-style movie theater and additional educational galleries. of physical space to the complex, which will nearly double its size by project completion in 2020.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2017, making room for an IMAX-style movie theater and multiple additional educational galleries.
New exhibits will begin opening in 2017, when construction is expected to be completed, as well, and will cover Marines’ missions in Panama and Grenada, the deadly barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, and as well as the recent wars conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
New artifacts also will be added, including a refurbished F/A-18 fighter jet, an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, an M60A1 tank and an MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle.
The museum also will house the fragmented Kevlar helmet of Cpl. Jason Dunham, who was posthumously awarded received the Medal of Honor after using it to cover a live grenade in Iraq in 2004 to protecting his fellow Marines.