U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships sail in formation during Annual Exercise 2011, an annual bi-lateral field-training exercise (REUTERS/U.S.Navy Photo/Handout).
Right-sizing the United States Navy
March 6, 2015,
As the Navy has focused on maintaining the numbers of ships it needs, maintenance, training, and modernization budgets have declined without a commensurate reduction in operations. Robert Hein writes that the Navy currently operates 285 ships, a far cry from the 594 ships of the Reagan era, and no match for the World War II era when the Navy maintained over 6,000. While the number has declined over time, associated demand has not.