United States Air Force Academy

Go to home page
Planning for the Future Today

Multi-Domain Lab (MDL)

Cadets in Multi-Domain Lab



To facilitate an immersive and scalable learning environment to provide future Air and Space Force leaders with a unique and lasting experience in the fundamentals of warfare and the employment of multi-domain effects in a dynamic Joint landscape.


The MDL is a learning enhancer. Its purpose is to provide an immersive, experiential physical-cognitive component to service academy warfare-related learning.


The MDL facility annually supports 1,200-plus future Air and Space Force cadets with more than 12,000 student contact laboratory hours throughout a wide variety of course offerings.


Prior to 2021, the U.S. Air Force Academy had no immersive learning capability to teach contemporary/future multi-domain warfare, only traditional classroom platform learning to prepare future officers to plan, execute, and analyze the strategic, operational, and tactical concepts of warfare that they would soon be employing. With the rising threat posed by competitors who could outpace us in many realms, a distinct and renewed focus on warfighter development evolved across the Department of Defense and impacted many aspects of education and officer development at the Academy.

Cadets in Multi-Domain Lab training

The MDL directly meets a national security requirement. This is perhaps even more poignant when one realizes that almost 80% of Academy graduates flow directly into operations career fields where they will very quickly be immersed in military and strategic decision-making, operational design, and tactical employment. The unique aspects of the MDL have drawn immense attention from peer military and civilian institutions, tech and gaming industry experts, senior military and political leaders, and allies.


The MDL is a 7,000 sq. ft. facility that integrates over 60 layers of software with state-of-the-art user interfaces to create a comprehensive, integrated simulated battle space. Although there are many war gaming and flight simulator facilities across the Defense Department, the MDL is the only place where multiple participant perspectives are linked together at a high-fidelity, unclassified, educational level of learning.


Fairchild Hall 2H4

MDL Director: Major Nicholas Rayl, USAF
Email: Nicholas.Rayl@afacademy.af.edu

MDL Operations Manager: Mr. Michael Golembesky, Civ
Email: Michael.Golembesky@afacademy.af.edu

MDL Visits & Inquiries
Email: USAFAMDL@afacademy.af.edu