John S. McCain III
National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution

Project Case Summary

Military Community Compatibility Committee (MC3)

Location: Tucson, Arizona


Aircraft noise from training flights at the Davis Monthan Air Force Base has long been an issue for Tucson residents who live and work near the base. In 2005, as the conflict began to escalate, community leaders asked the U.S. Institute for help. The Institute brought members of the affected community together for dialogue. The group agreed to work on minimizing the impacts of aircraft noise on residential neighborhoods while maintaining the viability of the base. The U.S. Institute helped the group select a facilitator for their discussions over the next year.

The dialogue group became the Military Community Compatibility Committee (MC3). It included neighborhood representatives, business leaders, and university and school district representatives. Representatives from the City of Tucson, Pima County and the Office of the Governor also took part. Advisory members included legal and engineering staff from the base and staff from the offices of Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain and Representatives Raul Grijalva and Jim Kolbe.

The process was funded by the Arizona Commerce and Economic Development Commission, the City of Tucson, Pima County, the DM-50, Diamond Ventures, Inc., and Metropolitan Pima Alliance.


The process led to the creation of the Military Community Relations Committee. Surrounding neighborhoods, affected businesses, local government, and the Air Force base are all represented. The committee will serve as an ongoing forum for dialogue, information sharing, and problem solving among stakeholders.

Results and Accomplishments

  • MC3 reached full consensus on 24 recommendations pertaining to base operations, land use regulations, and communications.
  • In September 2006, a report detailing these recommendations was forwarded to the Air Force, local governments, and regional planning and economic development associations.
  • Participants were asked to evaluate the process at its conclusion. All respondents generally agreed that their recommendations, if implemented, would effectively address the issue that brought them together.
  • In the words of a neighborhood representative "It was truly amazing to see such a diverse group of interests come together to find solutions to an incredibly complex problem."
  • A Davis-Monthan representative says that fewer complaints over aircraft activity during the past year are "a testament to the MC3 process and open and honest communications about our operations... We are also encouraged with the improving relationship we have with our neighbors in Tucson. The support of our fellow citizens in the civilian community is absolutely essential to our efforts in defense of the United States."


Partner from National Roster of ECR Practitioners
Tahnee M. Robertson, Resources for Environment and Community, Facilitation

U.S. Institute Project Lead
Kirk Emerson
U.S. Institute Director
Phone: (520) 901-8510; FAX: (520) 670-8577
E-mail:; Web site:

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