From the Trainer:
Something for folks to consider:
Using pyrotechnics during training or during an engagement has pros and cons, just like anything else. Smoke grenades are legal, expensive, and have varying quality.
Each man should consider having at least one, preferably two smoke grenades (one of each color). The colors we find most effective are:
White HC - Good for night, inclement weather, urban, and winter environments. Best all-around color to get. Plain old white HC.
Green - Superb for the woods. Depending on the time of year, rotary/fixed wing aircraft have a very difficult time seeing the green smoke against the canopy of leaves, depending, of course, on the AO in question.
Why 2 each? Simply, two different applications, and if one needs to, one can use either color in an emergency.
Cost? Anywhere from $40 to $100 each, depending on what you get, so watch yourself.
www.ammunitiontogo.com has some very good quality and cost wise, at the low end. They're military spec and will give you enough smoke for a good contact break. Recommend the "triple action" white HC as you can loft these and they pop into three separate sections to spread your cover out. http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/product_info.php/pName/1-us-milspec-triple-action-white-smoke-grenade
The product description from Ammunition-to-go:
1 - U.S. Mil-Spec Triple Action WHITE Smoke Grenade
This is a U.S. Mil-Spec. Triple Action White smoke Grenade. These smoke grenades are manufactured by A.L.S. Technologies, and are currently being used by our military in Iraq. The Tri-Action, White Smoke Grenade is a hand thrown device that releases three separate sub-munitions on discharge. The sub-munitions will separate between 15' and 20' apart, giving a wide coverage area per sub-munition. The ALS G973 is extremely effective in creating diversions for tactical operations.The Triple Action White Smoke Grenade delivers a cloud of white Smoke for approximately 30 seconds per sub-munition. These Grenades are used for training and screening purposes and are also very effective in creating a diversion for certain tactical operations. These smoke grenades are great for the paintball field when a wide range of cover is needed. These smoke grenades require the user to be able to throw them high enough for it to separate in the air. If the smoke grenade hits the ground before it separates it may not work properly. This is not something that is hard to do, you just have to throw them high and away from you.
Also recommend the Green single stage as number 2. They have multiple purchase prices as well, so you can save a penny or two.
When training with smoke, suffice it to say that wind consciousness is important because you don't want to pop smoke and then have it not shield your movement. Also, you must remember that depending on your location, elevation, situation, etc, once you pop smoke, you have to move quickly, because you may just have told everyone looking for you exactly where you are.
In a recent FTX, an OPFOR team used smoke at night to further hamper visibility of the target and was able to successfully get into a couple of positions before compromise. The participants later stated that hearing the smoke pop and then smelling it worked like a two-edged sword: enhancement of anxiety knowing that penetration was occurring and confidence in that the sound of the smoke would help pinpoint the OPFOR area of movement. -- The Trainer.