High winds scuttled Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James' plans to conduct a tandem parachute jump on Tuesday, but she got a pretty decent consolation prize: Squeezing off some rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun.
As we wrote last week, James was going to jump with members of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron during her visit to Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico. The jump was intended to give her a "first-hand understanding of how [Air Force Special Operations Command] air commandos train," the Air Force said in a release.
James went up in a CV-22 Osprey for an aerial tour of the Melrose Air Force Range there, where she shot the gun, the 27th Special Operations Wing said in a Facebook post Tuesday evening.
In a Wednesday release, Cannon said James also toured the wing's Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operations Center, met with leadership to discuss mission support, deployment operations and other key challenges around the world, spoke with air commandos and their families, met with the base's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, and held an all-call with base personnel and local community members.
"I am continuously amazed by the caliber of airmen we have working around the globe — Cannon is no exception," James said in the release. "The airmen here are remarkable and the efforts out of this wing are instrumental to national security. This truly is a premier installation and Cannon's air commandos are absolutely the tip of the spear."
Watch the video below.