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President's Update: March 2022



Michael J. Aguilar

An update on our Memorandum of Understanding with the Marine Corps and the City of Irvine.

Remember what it feels like when you’re just on the verge of completing a demanding physical or mental challenge and you can see your goal just beyond your reach?

That’s about where we are at with the completion of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Marine Corps and the City of Irvine. Since my last update we returned the draft MOU with feedback and revised recommendations from the foundation and the city.  The Marine Corps is reviewing our input and we hope to finalize the MOU in the very near future.

While we await hearing back, we have been working with the IBI Group, the city’s contracted architectural and engineering firm hired for the planning and development of the overall Culture Terrace, and our own contracted master design and development firm, Siteline Productions Inc., that has overall responsibility to work with IBI to ensure our requirements for Hangar 296 are addressed. We have already had two planning meetings with IBI, including a joint inspection of the new museum facility. It is a start of a great partnership, and everyone is committed to making the new museum the premier attraction at Great Park.

We are also making plans for the transportation of the aircraft and part of the micro artifact collection that the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) prefers to ship back to Quantico for cataloging and processing for retention at the NMMC. We are working on a compromise that allows some of those micro artifacts to remain with the aircraft for movement to Great Park. We also are interviewing qualified transportation firms for movement of the aircraft, restoration equipment, supplies and other material.

As I mentioned in my previous update, we were successful in reaching almost our entire two-year fundraising goal in just nine months. Not ones to sit back on our laurels, we are also interviewing professional fundraisers to help guide us to even higher targets. We recognize that we are starting a professional museum business that needs to be run and operated as a world class business, and an important part of a nonprofit museum is fundraising now and in the future.

Finally, our dedicated Advisory Board and their committees continue to be engaged and provide critical oversight as we move forward. Respective committees have had meetings and are developing strategies to success. We recently had a quarterly Advisory Board meeting to bring everyone up-to-date on each committee’s progress and discuss our next steps in anticipation of finalizing the MOU.

I anticipate my next update will include announcing that we have a signed MOU and are off to creating a world class museum, the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum located at Great Park.

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