Normally, I'm down on the "01" level, which is the main deck, where the radio room is located, so pardon me if I get the deck numbers all mixed up, as these are areas currently not on the tour, and are generally OFF LIMITS unless you have areason to be there.
We went up a couple of ladders, and were at one of the longest passageways on the ship, about 175' long:
Forward, to the end of this passageway, we found a couple of doors, the first with some more artwork by the talented Blair Denning:
The 'gator appears to be holding a sextant, but I don't know the significance of it.
The next door was a "Guest Cabin", and I'm told Admiral Kincaid used it for his at sea quarters:
Finally, we reached the hatch to the Combat Engagement Center (CEC), referred to as "STRIKE" by the people that worked there. I'm not sure of the significance of the curved metal track for the top of the hatch, unless it was just to keep the hatch from swinging open too far:
This is an armored area, as you can see by the thickness of the hatch. I believe it has 3" of armor, not a lot compared to the 17.5" of the Armored Conning Tower!
A lot of history was lost in this area when the Iowa was modernized in the 1980's. Several cabins and staterooms were gutted with no regard to their historical value, but the Iowa was still an active ship at the time, needed massive upgrades, and historical value was not on the list of important things.
This is the stenciling on the hatch leading to the CEC, indicateing it's on the "02" level:
This is the desk the Tactical Affairs Officer (TAO) used. As you can see, it doesn't have much left on it besides the "Red Phones" and some secure voice equipment:
The grey metal frames past the desk are actually holding some clear plastic, and were used a Threat Display Boards, so the crew could keep track of any bad guys determined to be hostile. Off to the right, laying on its side, you can see one of the "Battle Seats" that we've managed to acquire to replace missing equipment in the room.
A LOT of the equipment was stripped from this space, and we're trying locate replacements to get the room is presentable shape to include on the tour route.
I think this was one of the positions the Harpoon missiles were controlled from:
This is one of the radar displays used. Notice it has a Red Phone next to it, along with a rectangular "black box":
There are numerous black boxes of this type, located at or near radar displays, and I was told these were used for the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) function. I'm sure if I'm wrong I'll be corrected here, and I appreciate it!
Here's two radar displays we were able to acquire from the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, CV-61, before she was released for scrapping. The Ranger also "donated" several of the battle seats seen laying on the floor here. Note the IFF box to the left of the console. There's another IFF box to the right of the rightmost console:
Here's a wider view of this position:
Here's a view to the left od the TAO station. The round dials are repeaters for things like the ship's heading, speed, and weather:
This is a "Navigation Switchboard" for some purpose I don't know, and what appears to be a bank of reel-to-reel tape recorders:
Here's a view to the extreme left of the TAO station, showing more empty equipment positions:
And here's a couple of close-ups of the desk in the left of the above picture:
An "interesting" placard on a desk:
And off to the side of the CEC is an area I'm told was "The Spook Room", now used as a storage area:
Another stripped area, function unknown by myself:
And a lonely looking "Data Terminal Set", function also unknown by myself:
ASnd the backside of the door we came in:
I've got more pix of the inside of the CEC, but we covered so much material while we were in here, I really can't remember what I took pix of!
I've been told that I can make a request to be escorted back up here, and snap away to my heart's content, so I'll have to get one of the "radar guys" we have to take me up there, as they know a lot more about this area than I do. As long as you have permission, and tell Security where you're going, it's generally not a problem to get into some of these areas to look around and take pictures.
There's also a Combat Information Center (CIC) aboard the Iowa, but I'm told that was used mostly before her retrofits and upgrades, and served a secondary function to the CEC, where the ship was "fought from".
And yep, we're missing a TON (or three...) of equipment. The Missouri has a pretty complete CEC, and it's on their tour route, but we have quite a ways to go before we get there.
The Iowa, though, has an almost complete Radio Room and Transmitter Room, so while they have stuff we'd like, we have a lot of stuff they (and the New Jersey and the Wisconsin) would like!
I'll pick this up tomorrow with the "superstructure" part of tour, and visit to "CONN2".