New exhibits at Naval Undersea Museum Keyport kick off Deep Sea Week

Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Gaddis IV, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest

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KEYPORT, Wash. — The Naval Undersea Museum opened two new exhibits leading to the start of Deep Sea Week, Aug. 19.

The two exhibits were “Preserving Peace” and “Saving Submariners,” both exhibits displaying the history of the Navy’s submarine force.

“We’re very excited to open the Preserving Peace exhibit which shows the history of the Navy strategic deterrence program,” said Mary Ryan, Naval Undersea Museum curator. “The exhibit traces the history of sea-based deterrence from its creation in the late 1950s out of the Cold War Arms Race.”

The Preserving Peace exhibit displays many informational stand-ups that explain what strategic deterrence originated from and why.

“The key and goal whenever we went out was to remain undetected,” said Retired Master Chief Machinist’s Mate (SS) Harry Gilger. “Whatever missiles we left armed with, coming home with the same, the essence of deterrence.”

The second exhibit displayed the inner workings of a submarine and explained some of the life-saving procedures.

“The Saving Submariners exhibit’s goal is to show our visitors how prepared the Navy is to rescue submariners if an accident were to ever occur,” said Ryan. “This exhibit displays the history of rescue and escape methods and how they have evolved over the years.”

Retired Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, Director of Naval History and Heritage Command, delivered an informative speech on both exhibits.

“It’s important for us to demonstrate what we have done with America’s tax-dollars and the lives of their sons and daughters,” said Cox. “These exhibits demonstrate how critical the Navy is in protecting the United States from grave foreign threats.”

Most exhibits required a couple of years to be created and put in place; both exhibits were prepared in less than two years.

“It’s remarkable how the Keyport museum captured the evolution of sea-based deterrence,” said Rear Adm. John Tammen, commander, Submarine Group Nine. “What is most remarkable is the Trident [I (C4)] exhibit.”

Deep Sea Week: Boomers will be a series of public events from August 19-26, a new annual program held by the museum. This year the museum will focus on the ballistic missile submarines.

“The thing to take away from this is to appreciate the dedication of the museum staff in gathering information and telling it how it is,” said Gilger. “It’s a reminder for people my age and a learning experience for the generations after.”

For more information and the full schedule for Deep Sea Week go to
http://www.navalunderseamuseum.org/dsw/ or call (360)-396-4148.

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