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New London - Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., the newly retired commandant of the Coast Guard, has joined the board of directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association.
"Admiral Papp has been instrumental in getting our museum project off the ground, and I'm honored to be working with him to honor our brave men and women of the Coast Guard," said James J. Coleman Jr., board president. "It is...his passion for the Coast Guard and his devotion to the men and women under his command that is helping to bring the National Coast Guard Museum to reality in New London, and respectfully celebrate our nation's life-saving service, protectors of the sea and environment, and defenders of our maritime borders."
The nonprofit association is in the midst of a nationwide campaign to raise $1.5 million for the museum and also plans to ask the federal government for funding.
The state has pledged up to $20 million for a pedestrian bridge across the railroad tracks and for improvements to the city's regional intermodal transportation center.
The museum, which is expected to include four floors of interactive exhibits, event space, lecture rooms and a reception area with a gift shop and cafe, could be opened late in 2017.
Papp, the 24th commandant of the Coast Guard, was tapped to lead the Coast Guard in 2010 and retired in May. The Norwich native was recently appointed to serve as U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic.
For information about the museum project, visit: www.coastguardmuseum.org.