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About Us

A Century in the making

Visions of early airpower leaders such as General Hap Arnold and Dr. Theodore von Karman were instrumental to the research and development programs since they understood science as the key in air supremacy.  Today, the lab and its predecessors have overseen more than 80 years of critical research efforts for the Air Force and Department of Defense.  AFRL technology breakthroughs can be found in all of today’s modern aircraft and weapon systems to include the B-2 Spirit, C-17 Globemaster III, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning, the Predator and Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Systems, and the list is endless.

We continue to build on this paradigm-shifting research heritage by unleashing the power of innovative air and space technology for the warfighter. The passionate commitment of our scientists and engineers to strengthen the discovery of revolutionary technology inspires new warfighting capabilities, develops solutions to satisfy known gaps, and rapidly responds to urgent warfighting technology needs. The Airmen within the lab truly understand both the art and the science of bringing groundbreaking technology to the Air Force.

Gen Henry 'Hap' Arnold

Gen Henry "Hap" Arnold

Theodore Von Karman

Theodore Von Karman

The Only Air Force Organization

advanced research laboratories and testing facilities in eight states across the nation. In addition to these principle laboratories, AFRL has facilities around the world.

Map showing locations
  • Rome: Information



  • Arlington, VA: AFOSR

    Arlington, VA


  • Wright-Patt AFB: Aerospace Systems, Materials & MFG... Sensors, Airman Systems

    Wright-Patt AFB

    Aerospace Systems, Materials & MFG... Sensors, Airman Systems

  • Eglin AFB: Munitions

    Eglin AFB


  • FT Sam Houston: Airman Systems

    FT Sam Houston

    Airman Systems

  • Maui, HI: Directed Energy

    Maui, HI

    Directed Energy

  • Kirtland: Space Vehicles, Directed Energy


    Space Vehicles, Directed Energy

  • Edwards: Aerospace Systems


    Aerospace Systems


It is important to remember that professional development isn’t always just a matter of education and experience. Another factor in achieving a satisfying career is striving for a balance between work, family, community, and leisure activities.

AFRL encourages its employees to maintain a healthy life balance between work and their personal life and to give back to their communities through service and volunteerism.

Employees who achieve the right balance between their professional and personal lives are likely to feel more satisfied within their careers and be of greater service to their workplace and community.

Air Force Core Values


Most projects within AFRL require work as a team. It is important to learn not only how to lead a team, but how to be a good team member. It is important to learn how to work effectively with other people and incorporate new approaches and suggestions. A good team member approaches a project with a willingness to bring his or her own ideas, but also flexibility in hearing the ideas of others.

Ask Questions

It is impossible to learn without asking questions. Whether it is from a co-worker, supervisor, or mentor, the guidance of others is essential and invaluable. The guidance of others can help with career decisions or everyday situations that arise on the job. It is important to remember that even the best leaders ask questions every day.


Networking is one of the most critical aspects of the AFRL worker’s job. Through the working relationships that are developed both within AFRL and outside the organization, a good employee can form contacts that can be beneficial in many ways. These contacts can provide valuable assistance with important projects and can also help the AFRL employee learn about and take advantage of new career opportunities.

Good relationships with others

A life lesson that goes hand-in-hand with teamwork is the importance of developing good relationships. Understanding fellow workers and demonstrating a cooperative spirit is a good way to develop not only good working relationships, but also lasting friendships.


Since most projects within AFRL require the cooperation of many different parties, it is important to be willing to drop preconceived ideas and try different avenues to get where you want to go. Recognizing the validity of other ideas is very important when working with others, whether in a group situation or simply when working toward the same goal. Flexibility can also lead to learning and growth opportunities.

Flexibility can lead to new career opportunities as well. It is important not to get so comfortable with one job that other possibilities are ruled out. Remain open to new opportunities and new challenges.


As an internationally recognized organization, AFRL's commitment to diversity and inclusion are at the forefront. Therefore, AFRL is committed to attracting, training, and maintaining a workforce that is inclusive, positive, and performance-driven.

Hence, AFRL promotes workforce diversity and inclusion initiatives related to the following objectives:

  • Recruiting a diverse, qualified group of potential applicants
  • Cultivating a supportive, welcoming, inclusive and fair work environment
  • Developing strategic partnerships with a diverse range of colleges and universities
  • Ensuring student internships draw candidates from all segments of the United States
  • Nurturing talent through ongoing mentoring
  • Branding AFRL as an employer of choice

These objectives have led to AFRL being recognized for:

  • Best Diversity Company
  • Top 25 Contributor to Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Most Admired Employer for Minority STEM Professionals
  • Most Admired Employer for Minority Technology Geeks

AFRL is very proud of the efforts made so far and will continue to do more since we believe our success is contingent upon the inclusion of diverse perspectives from individuals brought together to overcome new and emerging threats to today’s warfighter.


The Air Force Research Laboratory has recently created a new Strategic Alliance Process. This new process enhances AFRL's ability to partner with domestic federal agencies and organizations in the pursuit of joint ventures. Its rigorous business-oriented approach will enable AFRL to fully exploit appropriate internal resources in conjunction with the unique talents of external entities.

AFRL recognizes that this process will not only strengthen its present research collaborations but promote a much-expanded research capability in the future. The AFRL Strategic Alliance Process applies to all traditional partnering agreements outlined by a Memorandum of Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, Interagency Agreement, or similar governing document.

Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

These programs are designed to stimulate the technology research of small businesses, while providing the government with cost-effective technical and scientific solutions to challenging problems. SBIR and STTR also encourage small businesses to market SBIR/STTR technology in the private sector.

For more information on the Air Force SBIR Program

Phone:  1-800-222-0366



For more information on the Air Force Tech Transfer

The Air Force Technology Transfer (T2) Program was created to assure all Air Force science and engineering activities promote the transfer or exchange of technology with state and local governments, academia, and industry. In addition, all T2 Program activities enhance the economic competitiveness of industry and promote the productivity of state and local governments while leveraging the Department of Defense research and development investment.

For more information on the Air Force Tech Transfer

Download:  Program Brochure

Air Force Independent Research and Development (IR&D)

This program was established to help communicate Air Force technology needs to industry and to assist industry in focusing future IR&D efforts on Air Force infrastructure and weapon system needs.
The Defense Innovation Marketplace is an initiative developed by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering in response to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Better Buying Power Initiatives 1.0 and 2.0.
AFRL uses the Marketplace as its primary means of facilitating its AF/Industry IR&D Technology Interchange Meetings [TIMs].

University Relations

To uphold its diverse portfolio ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development, AFRL must ensure strategic connections with academic institutions. AFRL University Relations is a corporate-wide initiative to forge strong partnerships with universities that support our mission, to leverage academic research capability and expertise, and to attract students and academic researchers with the drive and talent to solve the difficult science and technology problems we face as the world's leading air and space force. Contact the University Relations office at