Packaging . . .Part 5

Exiting the Methods
of Preservation Maze: Method 50


   Welcome to the final article in our military packaging preservation series. For a long time now, we’ve guided you through a maze. It wasn’t a literal maze, but a maze of confusion over the different methods of packaging preservation. So once again, bring along your trusty map, MIL-STD-2073-1, Standard Practice for Military Packaging.

Method 50 is the only remaining “exit” available from the methods of preservation maze. To use Method 50, you’ll need to use water- and vapor-proof protection with desiccant. For sub Method 51, you’ll also enclose your preserved, wrapped, cushioned and desiccated item in a sealed bag. Use a humidity indicator and a Method 50 label. Follow these steps:

  1. Clean and dry the item.
  2. Select and apply a preservative coating to the item or parts of it. The manufacturer normally applies permanent preservative coatings to electrostatic-sensitive devices (ESDS).
  3. Apply a greaseproof wrap only if a soft, drying preservative has been applied to the item.
  4. If greaseproofing is not required, apply a neutral wrap with a noncorrosive, dust-protective wrap before or during unit packing.
  5. Place the item, including the required number of desiccant bags, wrapped and cushioned into a close-fitting, heat-sealed bag that meets specifications in MIL-DTL-117, Bags, Heat-Sealable. Bags made from the following material meet MIL-DTL-117 requirements: MIL-PRF-131, Type I or II, Class 1 or 2 and MIL-PRF-81705, Type I, Class 1 (ESDS items only).
  6. Firmly secure the humidity indicator immediately within the closable edge of the bag.
  7. Mark the bag in accordance with MIL-STD-129, Military Marking for Shipment and Storage. Apply a Method 50 label.

Note: If you must use a carton or box with the unit container, place the cushioning specified in the contract or order between the bag and the carton or box. Mark the carton or box the same way as the bag.

If there is not enough space to use a label, write “DESICCATED PACKAGE—DO NOT OPEN UNTIL READY FOR USE” on the container near the identification markings.

Congratulations! You’ve now safely exited the methods of preservation maze. Most important of all, you’ve learned the maze is navigable and that it’s a good idea to keep MIL-STD-2073-1 handy as your map.

You can get help at any time by calling the Logistics Support Activity’s Packaging, Storage and Containerization Center at DSN 795-7105, (570) 615-7105, or email:


You can find the publications referenced in this series at:

    The quickest way to find a pub is to enter any numbers from its title (for example, MIL-STD-129 would be ‘129’) into the Document Number search box and then press the Submit button.

MS-4653-A Method 50


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