THE M18 Smoke Grenade is a Winner
It doesn’t go bang, but it is arguably one of the more important items that the troops can have. This system has a variety of options – even though they all do the same thing, for all intents and purposes. It is the M18 smoke grenade – and recently, the Army announced that Pine Bluff Arsenal's Directorate of Ammunition Operations produced its three millionth such grenade with no failures.
The M18 smoke grenade emits one of four colors of smoke – green, red, yellow, and violet. This allows troops to mark landing zones, targets for air strikes, or signal other units or aircraft. The grenades can also be used to screen unit movements. The four different colors can be used to ensure that the right targets are hit.
“This is a major accomplishment. I can't take credit for it," Ammunition Operations Director Roch Byrne was quoted as saying in an Army-released article. "The men and women who do the hard work every day, put the coveralls on, load up the buses early in the morning and work on the production lines are awesome. They have tough jobs. They really do great work.”
The improvement to the M18 quality came from a vendor’s idea to use a new type of starter in the grenades in 2006.