NE6PM & The Grey Radio Gang

NE6PM is the call sign normally used on the amateur radio frequencies when the legacy radio gear is activated on board the Battleship Iowa Museum moored in the Port of Los Angeles.

During the Iowa’s active Navy duty the ship’s military call sign was NEPM. It was reassigned to the ship for commemorative operational use in 2016 and may be activated during the annual Armed Forces Day Cross Band Test event if authorized by MARS or for other special events when authorized by the Spectrum Manager of the Navy’s 3rd Fleet. These activations are applied for and coordinated by the Battleship IOWA Amateur Radio Association (BIARA) under it’s role as the representative of the Battleship Iowa and Pacific Battleship Center within the Amateur Radio community. For information and QSLing information for these activations please visit

The Battleship Iowa Innovation Engineering and Technology group, which is responsible for restoration and operation of the ships circa 1982 vintage systems, operates the legacy radio equipment when testing equipment performance for maintenance and during special events. 

It takes a minimum of four operators to put NE6PM or NEPM on the air if using the legacy gear. One operator is required to monitor the R-1051 receivers located on the main deck in FACCON1. One operator is “on the air” making contacts via one of the many “red phone” stations which are located throughout the ship. Two more are required to monitor the URT-23 transmitters located two decks below the communications center. Presently operation is predominantly on SSB but RTTY and CW will be added in the near future.  A scheduled legacy equipment operation usually takes place during the second Saturday morning of each calendar quarter from 1600z to 1900z.  Days may vary depending on equipment status and operator availability. NE6PM typically operates on 20m on 14.243 MHz USB, 17m on 18.143 MHz USB and 40m on 7.243 MHz LSB. If you hear the station please give a call. Signal reports are appreciated. Please send a SSSASE to the NE6PM address on if you would like a QSL card.  

The Battleship Iowa Amateur Radio Association (BIARA) operates the primary Iowa amateur stations under NI6BB, using commercial amateur equipment and the original Iowa communication antennas. Look for NI6BB on SSB, CW, and FT8 or FT4.