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Registration of Military Message Handling System (MMHS) Header Fields for Use in Internet Mail

Approval announcement
Draft of message to be sent after approval:


From: The IESG <>
To: IETF-Announce <>
Cc: RFC Editor <>
Subject: Document Action: 'Registration of Military Message Handling System (MMHS) header fields for use in Internet Mail' to Informational RFC (draft-melnikov-mmhs-header-fields-08.txt)

The IESG has approved the following document:
- 'Registration of Military Message Handling System (MMHS) header fields
   for use in Internet Mail'
  (draft-melnikov-mmhs-header-fields-08.txt) as an Informational RFC

This document has been reviewed in the IETF but is not the product of an
IETF Working Group.

The IESG contact person is Pete Resnick.

A URL of this Internet Draft is:

Ballot Text

Technical Summary

A Miltary Message Handling System (MMHS) processes formal messages
ensuring release, distribution, security, and timely delivery across
national and international strategic and tactical networks. The MMHS
Elements of Service are defined as a set of extensions to the ITU-T
X.400 (1992) international standards and are specified in STANAG 4406
Edition 2. This document describes a method for enabling those MMHS
Elements of Service that are defined as Heading Extension to be encoded
as RFC 5322 (Internet Email) message header fields. These header field
definitions support the provision of a STANAG 4406 MMHS over Internet
Email, and also provides for a STANAG 4406 / Internet Email Gateway
supporting message conversion compliant to this specification.

Working Group Summary

The substance of the definitions in this draft is derived from the
military messaging heading elements defined in STANAG 4406. The comments
to date have consisted of corrections and minor amendments only.

The decision was made by the authors to exclude support for the
distribution extensions form of the Distribution-Codes heading
extension. This is noted in sections 3.3 and 6. However, this MMHS
feature is sparsely implemented and is not known to be in use within any
major military organization.

The decision was taken after the -01 draft to split the
MMHS-Other-Recipients-Indicator header into two separate headers
containing primary (to:) and copy (cc:) other recipients. This approach
varies from the approach in STANAG 4406, but is more consistent with the
RFC 822 style of address headers, and should be simpler for
implementations to process. It is not expected to create a significant
problem for gateway implementations.

Document Quality

At least three client implementations of this specification and one
server implementation exist. One client implementation is the open
source Thunderbird plugin. Another implementation is an Outlook plug-in
that was prepared by one of the authors.

Reviewers of the document are cited in Appendix A.


Chris Bonatti <> is the Document Shepherd.
Pete Resnick <> is the AD.

RFC Editor Note