AFRL has its headquarters at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio. They are in the Air Force chain of command under their MAJCOM, Air Force Materiel Command. The labs are where the USAF does its pure science that it doesn't farm out to universities or contractors. The major directorates of AFRL are air vehicles, directed energy, human effectiveness, information, materials and manufacturing, munitions, propulsion, sensors, and space vehicles. Because AFRL can develop technology independently from the rest of the world, there are conspiracy theories about what they've come up with. Some say that their research is based on the technology we acquired at Roswell.

The sensors directorate is visible from the Beavercreek, Ohio location of Waffle House if you sit near the windows.

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