Tennessee

Military: Precision flying teams are worth the risk, cost

  • 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)

    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)  (The Associated Press)

  • 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)

    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)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this March 31, 2016 photo, Blue Angels Pilot Captain Jeff Kuss is interviewed at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., prior to an Blue Angels show.  A Blue Angels F/A-18 fighter jet crashed Thursday, June 2, 2016 near Nashville,  killing the pilot just days before a weekend air show performance, officials said. A U.S. official said the pilot was Kuss.(Rob O'Neal/The Key West Citizen via AP)  MIAMI OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

    In this March 31, 2016 photo, Blue Angels Pilot Captain Jeff Kuss is interviewed at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., prior to an Blue Angels show. A Blue Angels F/A-18 fighter jet crashed Thursday, June 2, 2016 near Nashville, killing the pilot just days before a weekend air show performance, officials said. A U.S. official said the pilot was Kuss.(Rob O'Neal/The Key West Citizen via AP) MIAMI OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

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.

Both crashes are under investigation.

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.