MIL-STD-129 standard is used for maintaining uniformity while marking military equipment and supplies that are transported through ships. This standard has been approved to be used by the United States Department of Defense and all other government agencies. Items must be marked for easy identification before they are transported. The marking helps the military personnel to fill the necessary requisition, when a particular stock goes short of the balance level.
Shipping containers carrying military items can be categorized into 3 types namely Unit Containers, Intermediate Containers and Exterior Containers as per the requirement standard of MIL-STD-129. However, for all type of containers the basic format such as National Stock Number (NSN), item description and part number are mandatory. For Exterior containers certain additional labels like Military Shipment Level (MSL), serial number barcode and Direct-Vendor Delivery level (DVD) are required.
Appendage to MIL-STD-129
A new standard, known as MIL-STD-129P (4) was generated after changes were made to the old MIL-STD-129P (3) on 19 September 2007. There is amendment for exterior containers in this new MIL-STD-129P (4) standard. Now onwards along with the earlier NSN, Contract and CAGE, two new bar codes namely The Contract Line Item (CLIN) and Shipment Numbers (SN) are mandatory for exterior containers.
Per the new standard
- Serial numbers are assigned in "SER NO" format.
- The description of items should be exactly as per the contract.
- There should be spaces or dashes in NSN.
- Barcode information is also required. For shipments that include UII items, a single barcode is required. For shipments that do not include UII items, the barcodes should be (MIL-STD-129, para 22.214.171.124):
- NSN/NATO stock number (without dashes, spaces, prefix or suffix unless other specified in contract), if one is assigned.
- Contract or Order Number.
- CAGE of the Prime Contractor.
- CLIN (when used).
- Contract Shipment Number.
- Serial Number(s).
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