d. Identifying and Signaling Smoke. Identifying and signaling smoke is that smoke used to
identify targets, friendly unit positions, and supply points and to provide prearranged battlefield
communications. Colored smoke grenades may be used to mark a pick-up zone or a landing zone, to
identify a weapons cache, or to signal "open fire" during an ambush.
Smoke Planning. Corps and division commanders establish the priorities for conducting
deliberate smoke operations. Smoke units will normally support brigade preparations for offensive and
defensive operations. The brigade commander will determine priority of support within his brigade.
Smoke may also be used to conceal brigade, division, and corps combat service support units. Priority
of smoke support may go to the deception plan and is usually determined at brigade or division. The
priority of smoke support, as with all combat support allocations, will change as the battlefield situation
a. Upon notification of a smoke mission the smoke generator unit leader will go to the
supported unit tactical operations center (TOC) and meet with that unit's NBC officer. Together they
will develop a smoke mission tailored to the commander's operational intent. They will also exchange
radio frequencies and call signs to ensure sustained communications during the operation. The smoke
plan will include the smoke objective location, visibility requirements, smoke production start and stop
times, the tentative primary and alternate smoke generator locations and schemes of maneuver, and the
smoke control point location. Once the maneuver commander approves the smoke plan, the smoke
generator unit leader must coordinate with adjacent, higher, and lower units in the area to preclude
disruption of friendly operations.
b. The smoke unit leader will then return to his unit and meet with his key leaders to discuss the
plan. A recon will be made to determine actual primary and alternate smoke source locations. Any
changes to the smoke plan will be discussed with the supported unit and included in the smoke plan
before it is briefed by the maneuver commander and his staff.
c. The ability of the M157 Smoke Generator System to produce smoke while on the move
makes coordination with the supported unit even more crucial than with stationary smoke generators.
Once the smoke cloud develops and visibility becomes reduced, all vehicles in the smoke cloud must be
aware of the maneuver of the other vehicles. Lack of coordination may cause vehicle accidents and
driver uncertainty, which degrade the ability of the maneuver force to fight.