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James gets welding lesson during Fairchild visit

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, right, completes a welding project April 27, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., under the supervision of Senior Airman Mary Cannon, a 92nd Maintenance Squadron metals technology journeyman. James visited the base to familiarize herself with the missions of the 92nd and 141st Air Refueling Wings and 336th Training Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Richardson)

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, right, completes a welding project April 27, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., under the supervision of Senior Airman Mary Cannon, a 92nd Maintenance Squadron metals technology journeyman. James visited the base to familiarize herself with the missions of the 92nd and 141st Air Refueling Wings and 336th Training Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Richardson)

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, right, completes a welding project April 27, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., under the supervision of Senior Airman Mary Cannon, a 92nd Maintenance Squadron metals technology journeyman. James visited the base to familiarize herself with the missions of the 92nd and 141st Air Refueling Wings and 336th Training Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Richardson)

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, right, completes a welding project April 27, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., under the supervision of Senior Airman Mary Cannon, a 92nd Maintenance Squadron metals technology journeyman. James visited the base to familiarize herself with the missions of the 92nd and 141st Air Refueling Wings and 336th Training Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Richardson)

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James discusses diversity within the ranks with Airmen from the 92nd and 141st Maintenance Groups on April 27, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. James visited the base to familiarize herself with the missions of the 92nd and 141st Air Refueling Wings and 336th Training Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Richardson)

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James discusses diversity within the ranks with Airmen from the 92nd and 141st Maintenance Groups on April 27, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. James visited the base to familiarize herself with the missions of the 92nd and 141st Air Refueling Wings and 336th Training Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Richardson)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNS) -- Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James visited Fairchild Air Force Base on April 27 to better understand the daily operations of the 92nd and 141st Air Refueling Wings and 336th Training Group.

During her visit, James observed 336th TRG survival, evasion, resistance and escape water survival training; toured the 92nd ARW alert facility; and met with Airmen from the 92nd and 141st Maintenance Groups who taught her how to weld.

"I wanted to thank you all for the work you are doing," James said. "The work you do every do is vitally important to our Air Force and our country."

In the SERE water survival training demonstration, James observed SERE specialists simulate an emergency aircraft landing and a variety of parachuting situations.

After the SERE demo, James toured the alert facility which maintains two KC-135 Stratotankers on standby at all times to provide support for Operation Nobel Eagle -- a homeland security mission that supports federal, state and local agencies.

James spoke with 92nd and 141st MXG Airmen regarding the importance of the maintenance mission at Fairchild AFB. While the aircraft technology at the base dates back as early as the 1950s, the training, care and professionalism required to keep them flying is state of the art.

The secretary also toured the 92nd Maintenance Squadron metals technology shop where she learned the proper procedures on completing a weld.

"I really enjoyed the opportunity to help her weld," said Senior Airman Mary Cannon, a 92nd MXS metals technology journeyman. "As a senior airman, an opportunity like this rarely presents itself. I can't begin to explain how awesome this visit was."

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