Forty Marine Corps aircraft that served an important role in defending America’s freedoms and values have already begun returning home to Irvine. City officials recently awarded a $20 million grant to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum to help create a state-of-the-art facility in Irvine’s Great Park. The new museum will offer immersive exhibits and educational programs celebrating Marine Corps aviation history.

The grant includes $2.5 million to transport the historic aircraft from the museum’s current location in Miramar to the Great Park, the former site of Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. The museum is expected to open at the park’s new Cultural Terrace in 2026.