Every unit has some sort of safe for sensitive and classified material and most units have vaults for storing small arms. These safes and vaults have one critical thing in common: combination locks.
The problem comes when a unit transfers and fails to tell the incoming unit what the combinations are to these locks. It’s a major hassle to get the safe or vault opened
without the combination. A lockout can cost a unit thousands of dollars for a locksmith, depending on where the container is.
That’s why units need to remember every device with a combination lock requires an SF 700, a government standard form used for tracking the combination of a security container or door.
SF 700 is prescribed by NARA/ISSO 32 CFR 3002 and by DoDM 5200.01. It’s a three-part form consisting of an envelope with a tear-off tab and cover sheet.
The cover sheet provides space for information about the container, type of lock and the person to contact if the container is left open. It should be sealed in an opaque
envelope marked “Security Container Information.” The envelope should be taped on the inside door of the container or vault.
But, most importantly, the combination should be written down on the tab, torn off from the SF-700 envelope, sealed in the SF-700 envelope and given to the designated security officer to be stored in a a safe at the same classification level. That way the combination is always available and no safes have to be forced open.
Normally, the Special Security Officer or Command Security Manager would hold the SF 700s, but it’s up to the local command. The SF 700s should be stored according to the instructions that come with the SF 700.
Your security people should have copies of SF 700. If not, order them with NSN 7540-01-214-5372.
One other point: If a safe or vault door starts acting like it doesn’t want to open, report it and get the door fixed. If you let it go until it won’t open, you’ll have some explaining to do to your commander.
Ft Stewart, GA
Editor's Note: Thanks Tony. I suspect many units aren’t aware of the SF 700. Better safe than sorry.