John S. McCain III
National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution

Project Case Summary

U.S. Air Force - Multi-Party Negotiation and Conflict Management Training
April 2006

Location: Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama


The U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution was tasked by the U.S. Air Force General Counsel's Office for Dispute Resolution to lead the development of a multi-party negotiation and conflict management training framework.

The goal was to draw on the experience and research in the field of environmental conflict resolution (ECR) to create the basis for multi-party negotiation and conflict management training where interagency and intergovernmental cooperation are essential.


The U.S. Institute helped translate 30 years of experience in the field of ECR to help the Air Force meet its goals "to use alternative dispute resolution in environmental and land-use disputes more often and more systematically," and to "streamline dispute resolution processes, reduce dispute resolution cycle times, and avoid unnecessary dispute resolution costs."

In one year alone, the U.S. Air Force avoided $19.6 million in liability in contract disputes and resolved issues much more quickly using ADR than would have been the case with litigation. With this training effort, the U.S. Air Force is continuing to build its ADR capacity and potentially reap similar benefits in the environmental arena.

Results and Accomplishments

In April 2006, the multi-party negotiation and conflict management training was delivered at the Air War College in the first of a series of workshops. Participant feedback was exceedingly positive:

Effective Workshop

  • "Most complete negotiations coursework I have ever experienced; great balance between lecture and exercises."
  • "Great practical applications through various exercises and scenarios."

Workshop Impacts on Air Force Effectiveness

  • "This class will have a positive impact on my leadership and interaction within my organization. These are very powerful concepts."
  • "Negotiation skills and understanding that many factors involved [in conflict management] will be crucial in future duty."
  • "Great information for my toolkit - both personally and professionally."
  • "Outstanding! My future position will put me in an environment of negotiating inspection results and post inspection reactions - influencing more senior officers and improving the Air Force. First class!"

Project Contact

Cherie Shanteau
Senior Mediator/Senior Program Manager
U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution
130 S. Scott Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701
Phone: (520) 901-8546; FAX: (520) 670-5530
E-mail:; Web site:

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