Spike in major military accidents leaves leaders to question: is the U.S. ready for combat?

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The deadly collision of the USS John S McCain destroyer was the fifth major military accident since May involving the U.S. Now, the accident is sparking questions about armed forces readiness.

Now, the U.S. armed services committee is planning to hold hearings to hopefully find out what's behind the uptick.

"I think it's probably approaching a readiness crisis," Rep. Adam Kinzinger, (R) Illinois, said flatly.

It's a crisis leaders in Washington say stems from the 16-year-long war on terror, rising tensions around the globe, and budget caps tied to resources being stretched too thin.

Military leaders have been sounding the alarm for years.

"I think our competitive advantage has eroded right now," Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs Chairman, explained. "We would be challenged in projecting power today."

Adm. Bill Moran agrees. The Vice Chief of Naval Operations adds, "The unrelenting pace, inadequate resources and small size are taking their toll."

And, while still under investigation, a series of incidents involving Navy warships based in Japan, including the two deadly collisions this summer, could be further evidence of strain.

"We have the smallest Navy we've had in a very long time," Rep. Kinzinger says. "But we still have the same size ocean and now you actually have more issues popping up all over the globe so you are going to have to deploy Navy assets."

Rep. Ruben Gallego, (D) Arizona explains, "If you want the modern military, you have to spend the money to do it. The days of trying to do this on the cheap are going."

The military says more than half of its Navy aircrafts can't fly right now.

In the Army, just three of 58 brigade combate teams are considered "fully ready" and able to "fight tonight."

The Air Force is short more than 1,500 pilots.