Two key days have been planned and the wishes of 150 invited men and women in the world of defence – from Singapore to Seattle and from Lisbon to Trondheim – have been taken into consideration, shaken but not stirred and served up as a fearsome cocktail from the laptop of the redoubtable visit team.

And of course it comes down to the wire. Cancellations, last minute replacements, late clearances, range rearrangements, hats, coats and mobiles left in cars or at home.

Aircraft that run late.

We saw off our first group this morning. We counted them all in and counted them all out. So that was good.

A cheerful and critical bunch. These are not people to be fooled by a finger buffet and fulsome words.

There were sharp questions put to the demonstrating teams on the range tours and pointed note taken of the answers. 

But all were here to learn, to meet comrades in arms, and share hard won knowledge - and benefit from our unmanned experiments.

And, as we jointly look to the future, that, the RN believes, is the only way forward.