US Islands Awards Program

USI Videos

Ken, AD4OS qualifies US Island WI053R, Island 205 on the Mississippi River, May 9, 2020.

The Lea family getting ready to operate in the 2019 W/VE Island QSO Party from Pelican island, FL536R.

The Lea family operating in the 2019 W/VE Island QSO Party from Pelican island, FL536R.

Ben, KK6TGM qualified FL543 on December 23, 2018.

Grace, KM4TXT – Portable Solar HF 20 Meter Operations at Hontoon Island State Park. (FL481R)

Glenn AH6VF showing off his mobile/portable setup on Sandy Beach, Oahu, HI008S.

NS4J presents 23 years of portable operations including many US Islands, NPOTA and POTA.

Navassa, OI009S, a U.S. Minor Outlying Island, K1N DXpedition, Feb./March 2015.


K3USI (Mid-Atlantic Island Crew) operators KF4BAN Bob and NS4Jay doing a Potomac River expedition to qualify Harrison island (MD032R), June 26, 2017. 

Sean Kutzko, KX9X, takes us on another low-power ham radio adventure. This time, Sean operates from Pigeon Key (FL437S), Florida, as part of the US Islands Awards Program. Sean set up at Pigeon Key’s Marine Science Center in December 2014, and made over 140 two-way contacts in four hours using only seven pounds of gear. By making use of a naturally-occurring phenomenon in a layer of the atmosphere called the ionosphere, which allows radio waves to travel around the Earth, no cell phone networks or Internet was needed.

Qualification of  Cayo Pirata (PR061S) by Radio Operadores del Este, KP3RE, ops: KP4RV, KP4RD, KP4LE, NP3OT, KP3SK, WP4PBS & NP3MR.

The Noise Blankers Radio Group qualified Horseshoe Island (AR015L) on Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas, September 2011. K5H contacted 351 stations in 42 states and 16 countries. Two stations, approximately 80 yards apart, were on the air. Station #1 used a vertical antenna and station #2 used a dual-band dipole. 2nd place winner in the 2013 ARRL Video Contest.

An August 2016 expedition to Santa Rosa Island AKA Okaloosa Island (FL003S) for the W/VE Island QSO Party. The same site is part of the of Gulf Islands National Seashore. My ops also counted for National Parks On The Air Activation, SS08. I also sent an APRS message to Bob KK4DIV in Panama City to help with the NPOTA Five Star Activator Recognition.

12 year-old Faith, AE4FH is operating portable from Hontoon Island in Florida using a Yaesu FT-857D, PowerFilm Solar 120 watt foldable solar collector, Buddipole POWERmini charge controller, Bioenno Power 30 AH LiFePo battery, and homebrew 1/4 wave ground plane antenna.

AH1A, 1993, an international team of radio amateurs and scientists travels by schooner to remote and barren Howland Island (US Island, OI004S) (IOTA OC089) and is stranded for a week due to high surf. A planned 9 day visit was extended to 15 days. Howland Island is best known as the destination of the ill fated final flight of Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan and is located near the intersection of the equator and the International Date Line. The island is now a US National Wildlife Refuge managed for the protection of native plants and animals, including breeding seabirds, by the US F&WS. Legal entry is by special permit only. Over 52,000 radio contacts were made in Jan/Feb of 1993. Why this effort? Ham operators are licensed under ITU rules to practice the radio arts for education, enjoyment, and emergencies. A popular facet of ham radio is Dx-ing – gathering confirmed two way contacts on various signal modes and authorized frequencies with unique geopolitical entities.

Setup of Station #1 K5H Ham Radio Special Event, Horseshoe island (AR015L) qualification, September 2011.

Radio Operadores del Este, Inc. (KP3RE) on a new adventure to Vieques island, about 15 nautical miles from the main land. Enjoy our Sept 19, 2015, US Island activation of Cayo Blanco – PR050S. ops: KP4RV, KP4LE, KP4RD, NP3MR, & WP4PBS.


KP3RE – Radio Operadores del Este, Inc during the recent US island activation of Cayo Cabritas (PR080S) in the municipality of Ceiba, Puerto Rico. Sept 7, 2015 ops: KP4RV, KP4LE, KP4FGL, KP4GQ, KP4MTG, & WP4PG.

K3CPK portable operation from Hart-Miller island (MD015S) on May 17, 2014.

KL7RRC, St. Matthew island (AK016S) expedition 2011.

Alan, W2AEW vacationing on NJ001S Long Beach (Tucker), also IOTA NA111.

Alvin, N0ZYX caught NS4J activating Columbia island (DC001R) on Feb. 1, 2015.

N6TLU QRP, makes another trip to Drummond Island (MI007L) in the UP of Michigan. He set up a battery powered station with a dipole antenna supported by a deer hanger. The weather was not the best. Rain/fog and bugs! Only made 2 contacts in two days.

More CW fun from MI007L. 2012 N6TLU Operating QRP on the beach of lake Huron, Drummond island. Lots of fun, Lots of bugs! Was able to work the NAQCC CW Net. Excellent signals. Had a great time.

May 2016 Curtis, KC5CW went to St Croix USVI to activate several National Park sites including: Salt River Bay, Christiansted, Buck Island (VI008S), and Virgin Islands National Park on St John (VI003S).