Why Did They Want 381 of Them?:

Apparently, the Air Force’s years of vetting the need for 381 F-22 fighters had little or no impact on the QDR process. Ryan Henry, the Pentagon’s QDR point man, told defense reporters today that he doesn’t know why the Air Force ever asserted it needed 381 Raptors. “I was not involved in … the previous number, so I can’t tell you what went into that,” he told members of the Defense Writers Group in Washington, D.C. Henry’s remark suggested that the question never came up. For the record, the 381 figure was based on having enough aircraft to put one 24-airplane squadron into each of USAF’s 10 Air Expeditionary Forces, with the remainder used for test and training or in maintenance and attrition reserve. As recently as November 2004, the figure was approved as a solid requirement by none other than Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.