The US Army and British Army will test thermal-defeating poncho blanket (called a wobbie) in a war setting, officials said. Credit: US Army.

Slowly, you crawl, to the target. You weapon slung under your arm, night vision goggles on your helmet. Closer and closer to the target.

Bang!!! … target is dead, you can now get up, and charge the position, with surprise.

How did you do it? How about a “next-gen wobbie?”

You crawled to a firing position, because the enemy did not see your heat signature. Simple as that.

According to a report by Matthew Cox, at, US Army and British soldiers will participate in a force-on-force experiment next month to test out battlefield techs ranging from thermal-defeating woobies to exoskeleton knee braces.

The Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, Georgia, will host the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE) 2020 from Feb. 4 to March 17, the report said.

A platoon of British soldiers will join two platoons from Benning’s Experimental Company to fight against an opposing force (OPFOR) made up of a platoon from the 4th Infantry Division in an effort to create a realistic environment for evaluating dozens of prototype technologies, such as unmanned aerial systems, communications gear and sophisticated sensors, the report said.

“All units, including the OPFOR, will have advanced capabilities, so what we are trying to replicate is not only what an opposing force might have now, but what they might have in the future,” Eddie Davis, director of the Maneuver Battle Lab, told

“It kind of levels the playing field because other armies are getting advanced to a certain degree, so we want to make sure we are fighting a challenging threat.”

One piece of kit soldiers will test is a thermal-signature defeating blanket similar to the beloved poncho liner or soldier “woobie,” the report said.

“That is kind of what intrigues us because we have looked at thermal-defeating blankets, as a loose term in the past, and they have worked, but they were very rigid, very difficult to carry,” Davis told

“So this could potentially serve as similar thing you do with a poncho liner and also have thermal-defeating capability. That is interesting to us. It gives us the ability to hide ourselves from the thermal signature, which is pretty deadly,” he added.

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