JMC commanding general visits Pine Bluff Arsenal
June 27, 2012
By Pam Portland
PINE BLUFF, Ark. -- Brig. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, commanding general, Joint Munitions Command and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Bryant, visited Pine Bluff Arsenal for the first time on June 21 as they become acquainted with the command in a whirlwind tour that will eventually include 14 sites.
Two distinct operations at PBA -- ammunition and chemical-biological defense -- were the highlights of the command visit.
The M-18 smoke grenade is the largest ammunition production program at the arsenal, producing more than 800,000 grenades last year. The M-18 has a reputation for being a reliable, quality product.
"Since 2006, Pine Bluff Arsenal has produced 2.5 million M-18 smoke grenades without failure, " said Rock Byrne, director of Ammunition Operations. "That means, when those grenades are produced and tested at PBA they perform time after time, without malfunction, before they are shipped to our Warfighters."
After visiting the production line, the PBA staff "popped some smoke" with a brief pyrotechnic demonstration of the M-18 and several other smoke and illumination rounds.
The group also toured the production facility where the M40 and M45 protection masks are assembled. They got to see the facility where chemical-biological protection shelters are repaired when they arrive in the United States from theater operations around the globe.
"To be here at Pine Bluff and see these operations on the ground is very valuable for the command sergeant major and me, " said O'Connell.
"This is the tactical level that is so critical for our Warfighters around the world. I'm very appreciative of this dedicated workforce here and the continuous improvement that makes good become great. It makes me proud to be a part of this organization."