On Friday 8 March 2013, our tour to the sunny States (Arizona, California, and Nevada) of the USA took off. There was some concern whether or not Red Flag 2013-3 was still going ahead, as the Open Day at Luke was already cancelled due to the budget cuts. Luckily, the exercise was still on as were the Yuma MCAS and NAF El Centro open days. All 23 persons were present at the meeting point around 9 so we started the process of handing in our luggage and going through the elements of the boarding process at the beginning of our journey. The first flight was on board a British Airways A320. With some delays due to bad weather we made it to our BA B747 that took us from London-Heathrow, where another 4 participants joined the group, to Phoenix. We arrived around 19.00 local time in rainy and cold weather. After picking up the five vans we headed for Yuma for our first night’s sleep.