Durango native killed in Blue Angels crash in Tennessee


Durango native killed in Blue Angels crash in Tennessee

Naval demonstration team was practicing for show

Durangoan Jeff Kuss, a pilot with the Blue Angels, was killed Thursday in a crash in Tennessee.

Jeff Kuss biography

The biography of Capt. Jeff Kuss posted on the Blue Angels website:
Captain Jeff Kuss is a native of Durango, Colorado, and graduated from Durango High School in 2002. He attended Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 2006. Jeff was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps through the Officer Candidate Course in 2006 and reported to The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, to complete training.
Jeff reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, for aviation indoctrination in July 2007. He completed primary flight training in the T-34C Turbo Mentor at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, and completed advanced training in the T-45A Goshawk at NAS Kingsville, Texas. He received his wings of gold in November 2009.
Jeff then reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125), the “Rough Raiders,” at NAS Lemoore, California, for initial training in the F/A-18 Hornet. He reported to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 (VMFA-312), the “Checkerboards,” at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, in February 2011, where he served as Squadron Mess Officer, Naval Air Training and Operation Procedures Standardization Officer (NATOPS), Powerline Division Officer, and Pilot Training Officer. Jeff reported to U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), NAS Fallon, Nevada, in July 2012 and graduated in September 2012. While assigned to VMFA-312, Jeff deployed with Carrier Air Wing THREE (CVW-3) aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. VMFA-312 earned the 2013 Robert M. Hanson Award as the Marine Corps Association’s Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year.
Jeff joined the Blue Angels in September 2014. He has accumulated more than 1,400 flight hours and 175 carrier-arrested landings. His decorations include the Strike Flight Air Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various personal and unit awards.

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