Why Not Have Fewer Squadrons?

One might ask why not have fewer squadrons of F-22A Raptors, since the total number is now limited to 183? The top civilian for the Air Force told lawmakers that it’s a question of “depth of leadership.” Michael Wynne explained that the service has about three-plus wings of hardware deployed to Southwest Asia, “but we have five wings worth of leadership deployed.” By having seven squadrons of F-22As, said Wynne, the Air Force gains the necessary “depth that we can deploy the airplane and fight with it.”