The Army’s Pine Bluff Arsenal’s Directorate of Ammunition Operations have been going grenade crazy! Check out the colored smoke demonstration in this picture! The Ammunication Operations has “achieved the two million mark in their M18 colored smoke grenade production May 9, 2011,” as reported by Rachel Newton for Army.mil. In other words, they’ve conducted a series of successful tests on 2 million grenades.
Director of Ammunition Operations Roch Byrne said, “We have passed 174 lot acceptance tests with this product to achieve this milestone. This is quite an accomplishment. I can’t take credit for it. 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 other successful trait of the M18 production lines is that they have not produced any lot failures since 2006.
“We since added to the two million and plan to continue on and are looking toward three million without a failure,” Byrne said, contributing the success to the starter patch that they’ve added on to improve burn times.
He said, “Not only did it improve the reliability of the product, it helped one of our vendors. When we went from starter slugs to patches, the quality of the fuse was the same but the end product quality was better.”
“That is the vehicle that allowed for the two million grenades to be produced. Without the hard work and dedication to details and quality by the men and women who work for production this wouldn’t have happened,” Byrne explained. “If we have all the components we need, we will make a good grenade that is the bottom line. This really shows we know what we are doing and we have the people to do it.”
Apart from their M18 grenades project, they are also going to be working on a few other interesting programs.
“We will have a brief slow down in June and July,” Bryne said. “This is not really typical in recent years, however, this year we have to make some critical infrastructure safety improvements with the replacement of aging fire suppression systems at the grenade press operations, pyrotechnic mix operations and starter patch operations areas. It is time for these areas to be upgraded.”