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Bystanders gathered round to watch the MH 53 Sea Dragon land at the Icelandic Coast Guard airfield in Reykjavík on 12 October 2006.
The huge helicopter had been sent by the US military to airlift US Embassy staff and members of the Icelandic media to the 40,000-ton US navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, which was on course to Reykjavík.
After passengers dutifully put on the bright orange Arctic survival suits, the journey began. The half hour ride over the bay to where the ship was located was surprisingly smooth, but extremely loud.
Marines warmly welcomed the visitors once aboard the USS WASP and took them on a tour around the ship, which, among other things, facilitates a 600-bed hospital.
The sailors and marines were excited about visiting Iceland and watched the shore appear on the horizon while lined up and ‘manning the rail’, a tradition in the US navy when pulling into harbor.