Could you please let me know what regulation or policy requires that an equipment set (system of systems) must receive a data plate (UII, NSN, part number, serial number) for the set? For example, a kitchen dining set would come in a box with a barcode representing the table and four chairs because you wouldn't buy the pieces (subsystems) separately. Likewise, a 'widget detector' that consists of five components should have an overarching NSN representing the 'widget detector' with a unit of issue of set (UI: SE) with an overarching data plate showing the 1-overarching part number, 2-overarching NSN, 3-overarching serial number and 4-overarching IUID while each of the five components would receive their own NSN (and IUID and serial number when applicable).
This is a great question. There is not a panacea approach for the marking concern however, there are standard regulatory practices in place which provide guidance regarding markings. A few references are: Department of Defense Standard Practice for Military Marking for Shipping and Storage, MIL-STD-129R (series); Item Unique Identification, DODI 8320.04; Department of Defense Standard Practice for Identification Marking of U.S. Property, MIL-STD-130N(series).
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