[updated 9:45 am Wednesday with DOT&E data] CRYSTAL CITY: Navy crews don’t have enough sailors, training, or spare parts to keep up with operational demands, the Commander of Naval Surface Forces said bluntly this afternoon. The service needs to make better use of smaller budgets by standardizing equipment and adopting new training simulations, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman said, but even that’s not enough: Ultimately, he said, the Navy must get smaller to stay ready.

That approach doesn’t play well on Capitol Hill, which is so focused on the keeping up the size of the fleet that last year it refused to let the Navy retire three aging Ticonderoga-class cruisers which admirals said cost more they were worth to keep maintained. Keep reading →