Press Releases

The Battleship Missouri Memorial Unveils New Mark 15 Phalanx CIWS Display

 U.S. Coast Guard honored by the Mighty Mo for their volunteer services

Pearl Harbor, HI – (April 20, 2023) – The Battleship Missouri Memorial continued celebrating National Volunteer Month (April) by unveiling a new exhibit featuring the Mark 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), which was made possible by the U.S. Coast Guard Weapons Augmentation Team (WAT) Honolulu. WAT selflessly donated over 750 volunteer hours to completely restore a M61A1 Vulcan autocannon that will serve as the centerpiece of the display.

As part of its 1986 recommissioning, the USS Missouri added the Mark 15 Phalanx CIWS, which would search for, detect, and track close-in air targets. Targets were engaged with a rapid fire M61A1 Vulcan 20 mm six-barrel rotary cannon that could fire up to 3,000 rounds per minute. Control of the Mighty Mo's CIWS was directed from the Combat Engagement Center (CEC), and four CIWS mounts provided the ship with a 360-degree area of protection. This stand-alone weapon system, nicknamed "R2-D2" by the crew, provided the Mighty Mo with a final defense against Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles.

The restoration effort was a result of a tremendous amount of assistance from several divisions of BASE HONOLULU’s Naval Engineering Department, including the Damage Controlmen Division, which repaired the Vulcan’s display stand and removed three seized barrels. The Industrial Production Facilities provided sandblasting services, while Fast Response Cutter Engineering handled powder coating, and the Cutter Small Boat Division assisted with engraving.

"We are honored to have had the opportunity to pay it forward and give back to this living historic museum by volunteering aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial," said Senior Chief Rafael Rodriguez, U.S. Coast Guard Weapons Augmentation Team (WAT) Honolulu. "Our team is especially proud of ET1 Brady McKenzie, who led the charge in the restoration and invested significant time and effort into ensuring every detail was perfect. McKenzie's extensive experience as a Legacy Alpha mount CIWS technician and his status as the U.S. Coast Guard's oldest CIWS qualification code holder, made him an invaluable asset to our team and truly helped make this project possible."

The CIWS display is now open to visitors on the Second Deck Mess Decks onboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor. For information or reservations, call (808) 455-1600 or visit

Please credit images to the Battleship Missouri Memorial

Link: Crew members with the Mark 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) aboard the USS Missouri in 1986.

Link: U.S. Coast Guard members lend a helping hand to restore the CIWS display on the historic Battleship Missouri.

Link: U.S. Coast Guard Weapons Augmentation Team (WAT) Honolulu donated over 750 volunteer hours to restore a M61A1 Vulcan autocannon.
About Battleship Missouri MemorialSince opening in January 1999, the Battleship Missouri Memorial has attracted more than 9-million visitors from around the world with a fascinating tour experience showcasing the USS Missouri’s unique place in history. Located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Mighty Mo completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” and sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and ends with Japan’s formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

The USS Missouri had an astounding career over five decades and three wars – World War II, the Korean War, and Desert Storm – after which it was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Association operates the Battleship Missouri Memorial as a historic attraction and oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants, and donations.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Military, kama‘āina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (808) 455-1600 or visit


Media Contact: Danielle Thomson (951) 746-0097
Jaclyn Hawse (808) 455-1600 x246