By Buddy Blouin

Cutting-edge technology that allows our Airmen to stay ahead of our enemies doesn’t just happen. There is a lot of money, time, and research that comes into play here and those working at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) make it all happen. Although the AFRL has been around since being established in 1997, there have been many labs and variations throughout the decades that have contributed to the research and development of our nation’s aerial efforts, including the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. Learn more about the Air Force Research Laboratory and how it helps serve our nation.

What Is AFRL?

The AFRL is responsible for the science, research, and development of technologies and discoveries for the United States Air Force. In a very real way, the AFRL is the key reason that the USAF is able to maintain sky superiority among friends, foes, and everyone in between.

In its current state, the Air Force Research Laboratory has been in existence since 1997, but there have been several other variations throughout the time that begins all the way back to 1945 with the creation of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, also known as Air Force Cambridge Research Center (AFCRC) during the Cold War under the direction of General Henry H. Arnold.

Several advancements have been created because of the AFRL, including the X-37 and the Advanced Tactical Laser. In addition to creating such innovations, you’ll find that the Air Force Research Laboratory also controls the budget for researching technology within the USAF.

There are thousands of people that come together to make the AFRL a reality. This includes both civilian and military personnel. In fact, there are around 1,200 military personnel and 4,200 civilians that make up the group.

Breaking Down the Air Force Research Laboratory 1990 Merger

Today, there are four superlabs that were created by merging together many other AFRLs that existed beforehand. Here is how each U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory was merged together and where they can be found today.

Before Merger: Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM, Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA, Astronautics Laboratory, Edwards AFB, CA
After Merger: Phillips Laboratory at Kirtland AFB, NM

Before Merger: Avionics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Electronics Technology Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Material Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Aero Propulsion and Power Laboratory Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL
After Merger: Wright Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

Before Merger: Rome Air Development Center, Griffiss AFB, NY
After Merger: Rome Laboratory at Griffiss AFB, NY

Before Merger: Human Resources Laboratory, Brooks AFB, TX, Harry G. Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Drug Testing Laboratory, Brooks AFB, TX, Occupational and Environmental Health Laboratory, Brooks AFB, TX
After Merger: Armstrong Laboratory at Brooks AFB, TX

Today, the AFRL operates out of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.

Does AFRL Hire at Bachelors Level?

Yes, AFRL jobs are available at the bachelor's level and all other levels of collegiate experience. This includes those working on degrees who wish to pursue a role in national defense, though stipulations may apply.

Furthermore, you can seek employment at an Air Force Research Laboratory even if you are a civilian. There are several jobs involving STEM among other roles available and the DoD can be a great place to gain experience in your field.

If you are looking to pursue a career at a US Air Force Research Laboratory, seeking open positions by searching online would be your best bet to find a role that fits your skills. The AFRL continues to help bolster the national defense of our nation and you can be a part of it.




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