Military: Precision flying teams are worth the risk, cost

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.