It was by far the most surreal flight I've even been on.
Full civilian crew, including stewardesses (flight attendants now) who went around trading the little plastic airline wings for rank insignia, jump wings, bubbles....a couple of hours in the air and half of them had their blouses unbuttoned and covered with little pin on chevrons. Meanwhile we were in full battle rattle. Magazines loaded & extra bandoliers in our packs.
I was hand carrying a KL-51 (offline encryption device), my buddy and I grabbed a row of three seats by the window. I strapped the KL-51 into the middle seat and shooed away any other Marines. Once we were in the air, I kicked it down onto the deck and we had extra room to spread out.
They went ahead and played the in flight movies. The first one was Bird On a Wire, and the last one was Glory. So we're all geared up thinking we're going to be going into combat within days and we're watching the suicide charge at Fort Wagner. The final scene, panning across the faces of everyone dead...the lights go on and the captain announces we're on our final approach into Riyadh.
Yay. Seriously fuck that movie.
Oh, I'm also pretty sure I shoved one of the national news anchors out of the way at the bottom of the ladderwell as we disembarked from the plane.