At a joint military exercise 90 miles outside of Bangkok, Thai soldiers taught US Marines some serious jungle survival tactics. Marines drank the blood of live cobras in a hardcore exercise called “Cobra Gold 2013,” the thirty-second edition of international exercises hosted by Thailand.
So what does snake blood taste like? Second Lieutenant Ted Powers told Reuters, ” Terrible. Really terrible, but it is a good experience … It’s something I can always tell my grandchildren about.”
Over 13,000 military personnel from around the globe participated in the survival-skills event.
Marines not only caught and ate snakes with their bare hands during the 11-day drill but also consumed bugs and slaughtered chickens to stay alive.
Rittichai Soontorn, Thai Special Forces Master Sgt 2nd Class, said that the purpose for the training wasn’t to kill the snakes but to convey to the troops that “exerting unnecessary energy hunting in a survival scenario is not using good logic when plants are the easiest source of food to acquire in the jungle.”
According to the New York Post, the multinational survival course aims to improve military relationships between countries with similar long-term goals and includes soldiers from Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and Malaysia.
In a press release, the US Marine Forces stated that this joint military operation was the largest of its kind and demonstrated the United States’ commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
Wednesday, US Marines and Thai soldiers exchanged survival notes in a tropical forest within the Sattahip district of Thailand’s Chon Buri province. The 11-day military exercise covers amphibious assault, humanitarian relief, and evacuation of friendly forces as well as jungle survival techniques.