Military: Precision flying teams are worth the risk, cost

June 3, 2016 10:35 PM

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DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels both suffered crashes on the same day this week, but the military says the high-drama, high-dollar flying teams are worth the money and the risk.

The Defense Department and supporters say the two squadrons help citizens feel good about their military and give a boost to recruitment.

A Blue Angels F/A-18 jet crashed Thursday near Nashville, Tennessee, killing the pilot, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss.

Also Thursday, a Thunderbirds F-16 crashed outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, after a performance, but the pilot, Maj. Alex Turner, ejected safely.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Katie Maricle says the Thunderbirds have an annual budget of $35 million. A Navy spokesman couldn't immediately provide the Blue Angels budget.

A U.S. Air Force Thunderbird rests in a field where it crashed following a flyover performance at a commencement for Air Force Academy cadets, south of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, June 2, 2016. The pilot ejected safely from the jet. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Crew inside a military helicopter examine the site where a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird crashed following a flyover performance at a commencement for Air Force Academy cadets, south of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, June 2, 2016. The pilot ejected safely from the jet. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Smoke billows from the crash of a Blue Angels F/A-18 fighter jet in Smyrna, Tenn., Thursday, June 2, 2016. Officials said the pilot, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, was killed. The Navy said in a news release that Kuss was taking off during an afternoon practice session for an air show when the crash happened. (Becca Cullison-Burgess via AP)

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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