Military packaging has demanded specialized treatment, discretion, and care since the first troop took formation. Since World War II, mandated specifications, known as MIL-SPEC, have governed the shipping, handling, and distribution of military materiel. As technological improvements required special treatment and heightened security, more advanced military packaging became necessary for national defense.

Greenwood Aerospace understands the need for safe and secure government procurement, aircraft and parts storage and distribution, and military aircraft parts supply. We proudly partner with all branches of the U.S. military, and provide everything you need to know about advanced military packaging, including:

  • The history of advanced military packaging
  • Current logistics of advanced military packaging
  • What Greenwood Aerospace offers for advanced military packaging 
  • The next steps in advanced military packaging

Discover everything you need to know about advanced military packaging and all the services Greenwood Aerospace offers for military and defense contracting. You can also request a quote here or email us at for more information.

Read on to discover the evolution of advanced military packaging specifications. 

A History of Advanced Military Packaging in America

Basic military packaging fell under MIL-SPEC purview following World War II. During the war, the Allied Forces discovered their equipment could not translate between each other. Ammunition, vehicle repair parts, and general supplies would only fit one nation’s armaments, limiting their usefulness in wartime.

Through MIL-SPEC, military supplies became more universally functional, enabling the U.S. and allied nations to support one another during wartime. As MIL-SPEC expanded to encompass military shipping and packaging, standards were enacted to protect materiel during long shipments or inclement and extreme weather. 

With modern technology and high-tech surveillance equipment, advanced military packaging is more in demand than ever before. Greenwood Aerospace provides top-of-the-line military packaging for all your military parts needs. Our expert team monitors current supply chain trends and the latest military packaging upgrades to ensure you receive the best possible shipping and handling for your cargo.

Advanced Military Packaging Today

Advanced military packaging is a relatively new need for today’s servicemen and women. MIL-SPEC provides the framework for all military packaging, incorporating updates to materiel as technology progresses. Unique and specialized packaging is still catching up with demand, as more branches of the military are outsourcing their advanced military packaging requirements.

Few formal definitions exist for advanced military packaging. While it does still adhere to MIL-SPEC, obvious differences exist between advanced military packaging and military packaging as originally outlined by MIL-SPEC. Today’s military packaging can be separated into two simple categories:

  • Basic military packaging
  • Advanced military packaging

Basic Military Packaging 

All military packaging specifications are outlined by standard practice MIL-STD-2073-1 (MIL-STD, or Military Standard, serving as official code for MIL-SPEC). MIL-STD-2073-1 covers the specific requirements that a shipment must meet before entering the military distribution cycle.

The three specifications for MIL-STD-2073-1 prior to shipment are:

  • Military packaging 
  • Military preservation
  • Military materiel packing

There are exceptions to MIL-STD-2073-1, such as if shipments are intended for immediate use or are non-mission capable. Otherwise, all military packaging must adhere to MIL-STD-2073-1. 

Specific means of following this military standard are: 

  • Waterproofing
  • Water vapor proofing 
  • Preservation coating
  • Cleaning
  • Cushioning
  • Properly identifying

Basic and advanced military packaging are required to follow MIL-STD-2073-1. Modern advancements have demanded innovation to basic military packaging, and more branches of the military are seeking advanced military packaging solutions. 

When Standards of MIL-STD-2073-1 are Required

Military packaging shipments that are for immediate use or are non-mission capable are permitted to be shipped commercially. If your shipment falls under any of the following categories, it is required to follow MIL-STD-2073-1 regulations:

  • Containing recyclable parts
  • Delivered during wartime
  • Entering military distribution cycle
  • Expected to be delivered at sea
  • Requiring long-term storage


A black-and-white photo features military cargo trucks unloading their supplies next to a train depot, as dozens of soldiers and civilians assist.
Military packaging has come a long way since MIL-SPEC began post-WWII. source: Wikimedia Commons

Advanced Military Packaging

New standards are required nearly every year under MIL-SPEC. The most recent update occurred in 2019, as MIL-STD-810 underwent revisions to account for new testing conditions and identify deficiencies across military processes. 

MIL-STD-810H superseded MIL-STD-810G, with minor updates occurring to the standard as recently as May, 2022. In regards to advanced military packaging, MIL-STD-810H tests for factors that can damage or impact shipping and handling of materiel. 

Many stimulants tested under MIL-STD-810H are typical of battlefields and military environments dating back to the Revolutionary War. Advanced military packaging accounts for more than standard environmental impacts and outmoded influencers. 

Advanced military packaging must now provide modern, state-of-the-art features, such as:

  • Adjustments for new and advanced technology 
  • Upgrades to existing, outdated packaging
  • Unprecedented situations demanding modern solutions
  • Green initiatives

Advanced Military Packaging Adjusts for New Technology

It is not releasing state secrets to inform you that warfare is being waged on a new frontier: the digital one. U.S. adversaries such as North Korea have engaged in cybersecurity attacks, enemy actors have infiltrated American power grids, and the use of drones in combat has reshaped strategies in hostile territories. 

Advanced military packaging must meet the needs of this new era of battle. Many branches of the U.S. military are implementing upgraded protective measures to ensure high-value technology is shipped securely and discreetly. More MIL-SPECs are being revised to match the technological updates, as seen with MIL-STD-810H. And some departments are partnering with industry experts to solve advanced military packaging dilemmas.

The U.S. Army recently tapped commercial packaging experts for new means of transporting silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors. SiC semiconductors provide the military with upgraded power sources to improve operations, such as:

  • Solar power conversion
  • 5G wireless functions
  • Aerospace applications

Basic military packaging was unable to meet the requirements for long-distance shipping of SiC semiconductors, and the program sought shipping improvements in four key areas:

  1. Conventional power packaging: improvements on container reliability, parasitic inductance, subtractive manufacturing and transient thermal mitigation
  2. Electrical packaging: accommodations for semiconductors with 2x power density as previous conductors
  3. Thermal packaging: accounting for heat dissipation, thermal resistance, internal and external thermal interfacing, and transient absorption
  4. Thermomechanical packaging: considerations for thermal and power cycling capabilities, thermal expansion matching, and compliant interface materials

From drones to power chips to Air Force base equipment, advanced military packaging is meeting the 21st-century needs of our military.

Upgrades to Basic Military Packaging

Outlined by MIL-STD-2073-1, all military packaging abides by three tenets: packaging, packing, and preservation. To promote production and innovation, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment partners with the DOD to award military personnel and programs for their work in military packaging. 

The DOD presents military and civilian personnel who “contribute significantly to the Department of Defense packaging program” with one of two awards:

  1. Department of Defense Packaging Innovation Excellence Award
  2. Department of Defense Packaging Production Achievement Award

These awards compel military programs to upgrade military packaging for efficiency, reliability, and technological advancement. For example, the 2015 DOD Packaging Innovation Excellence Award was presented to six Picatinny Arsenal engineers for their redesign of mortar packaging to reduce costs and give soldiers quicker access to ammunition rounds in combat. 

Advanced military packaging can perform many functions, but its most pressing is the support, assistance, and security of our soldiers. Greenwood Aerospace proudly supports this mission in all of our military and defense contracts to keep our servicemen and women fully supplied and functioning at peak performance.

Advanced Military Packaging Solves Unprecedented Dilemmas

In the wake of the national and international health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, over 40,000 National Guard personnel were deployed to assist our frontline healthcare workers. The military had never faced a non-wartime health emergency on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, and military packaging needed to adjust to meet the unprecedented demands.

The Defense Logistics Agency launched its Distribution Vaccine Operations Team, packaging, shipping, and delivering over 36 million critical supply items and equipment to hospitals, healthcare facilities, and frontline workers to combat the pandemic. The DLA also established a vaccine and medical supply chain for deployed servicemen and women across 35 countries.

Advanced military packaging adapts and evolves with technological enhancements, but it also responds to sudden disasters and emergencies, keeping our military and civilian personnel safe and supplied for whatever they might face.

Advanced Military Packaging Supports Green Initiatives

More industries are turning to conservation efforts to both preserve our environment and discover innovative cost-saving measures. The U.S. military and advanced military packaging support these initiatives by implementing reusable and recyclable materials when available.

Team members working with Army’s Logistics Support Activity engineered a more sustainable way to transport liquid HAZMAT. The environmentally-friendly fiberboard and absorbent material used to transport HAZMAT replaced loose-fill contents, earning the 2013 DOD Packaging Excellence Award.

The U.S. military continues to seek out sustainable advanced military packaging. The 2020 Packaging of Army Materiel pamphlet 700-32 standardized green initiatives, such as:

  • Ensure packaging requirements for depot-level repairable items specify reusable containers for the life cycle of the item.
  • Ensure packaging materials meet life cycle environmental requirements (for example, green products and sustainable materials), including their disposal.
  • Require Army Packaging Design Activity, or APDA, to consider the lack of adequate disposal facilities, increased expense, and manpower requirements to ensure proper treatment or disposal of all waste streams at government activities operating in contingency environments. 
  • When practical, select packaging that minimizes the use of materials listed as covered waste, such as plastics and foam.
  • Selected packaging should strive to minimize the volume required for disposal. 
  • No item may be procured or presented for transport or distribution to a contingency environment without proper disposal data.

Greenwood Aerospace works with military branches, government agencies, and local facilities to promote green initiatives. We are committed to both quality of service and sustainability in all of our government, military, and defense contracts. 

What Greenwood Aerospace Offers for Advanced Military Packaging

Seeking an expert team to service your military packaging needs? We here at Greenwood Aerospace apply our forty-plus years of experience in government procurement, contracting, logistics, and storage and distribution to meet your advanced military packaging needs. Our services include:

We proudly partner with all branches of the U.S. military to support national security and assist our troops in every way we can. This extends to advanced military packaging.

We provide extensive service for your advanced military packaging needs, such as:

  • Advanced crating, containment, and shipping of all materiel
  • Proper and up-to-date labeling for all shipments
  • Full compliance with the latest MIL-SPEC packaging codes

Advanced Military Packaging Crates and Containers

Military packaging shipments are much like aircraft parts distribution: your need may be for parts kits or for large ground equipment. We provide the proper packaging for all size shipments, including:

  • Exterior containers
  • Intermediate containers
  • Unit containers
  • Custom crating

If your shipment requires packaging or containment that exceeds standard military container sizes, our team of professionals provides custom crating to guarantee your packages meet MIL-SPEC requirements without causing unnecessary delays.

Military Packaging Labeling

Military packaging is a key component to operating within MIL-SPEC standards. Proper labeling of your shipments is just as important. 

Greenwood Aerospace offers the proper military shipping labels, or MSLs, in accordance with MIL-STD-129. We ensure your military packaging is processed quickly and correctly through proper labeling. Our labels include: 

  • Unit Container Label (UCL): small containers that ship separate from exterior shipping containers
  • Intermediate Container Label (ICL): moderate-sized shipping containers that ship separate from exterior shipping containers
  • Exterior Container Label (ECL): large shipping containers often used to house unit or intermediate containers
  • Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Label: all classes of hazardous materials are labeled properly and clearly, from explosives to oxidizing substances

Compliance with MIL-SPEC Codes for Military Packaging

All of Greenwood Aerospace’s military packaging complies with MIL-SPEC packaging codes to guarantee on-time and safe delivery of your shipment. We work in compliance under the necessary agencies and regulations, including:

The Future of Advanced Military Packaging

Our team rigorously monitors and leverages supply chains, inventory, and decades of experience with military packaging to ensure your shipments are always correctly processed and on time. This entails projecting the future of military packaging as much as operating in the current climate. 

AI’s Impact on Advanced Military Packaging

AI is the topic in current conversations across almost all industries, and the military is no different. Artificial Intelligence is projected to make up over $13 billion of the market share for military and defense spending by 2028. How does that impact advanced military packaging?

One of the largest industries predicted to be impacted by AI is shipping and transportation. If AI can rapidly monitor needs and supply chains, report logistics to command, and limit exposure of soldiers to risk, it will become a primary tool in defense shipping and military packaging. 

And before you suggest it is a long way off, programs are already implementing AI in the military, such as: 

We here at Greenwood Aerospace review and keep you up-to-date on all the news, trends, and initiatives to provide you the best service for your aerospace needs. 

Join Greenwood Aerospace for Your Advanced Military Packaging Needs

Ready to partner with us for all your military packaging needs? With over forty years’ experience partnering with all branches of the U.S. military—along with the largest defense contractors in the country—Greenwood Aerospace has the knowledge and expertise to ship the parts you need when you need them, all within MIL-SPEC guidance. Contact us now, and we will respond as rapidly as we ship. 

Interested in a short-term contract, or have other parts procurement needs? Request a quote or email us at, and one of our experienced representatives will get back to you shortly.

We look forward to working with you!