VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Unready to fight, unworthy to fly: that's the assessment of a top admiral regarding a large number of Navy Super Hornet fighter jets.

In Congressional testimony earlier this week, Navy Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker blamed the problems on an increased operational tempo since 9/11, coupled with continuing budget uncertainty.

"We will always answer the bell to put combat-ready forces forward," Shoemaker said, but then he added, "We have been forced to do so for years at the expense of our long-term ability to train and prepare the future force."

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said he's hopeful the budgeting piece of the problem could soon be corrected.