Royal Thai Armed Forces Master Sgt. 1st Class Saengchai Seeuthai pours cobra blood into the mouth of a U.S. soldier of the 20th Infantry Regiment during exercise Cobra Gold 19 at Phitsanulok, Thailand, on Feb. 13, 2019. (ROBERT G. GAVALDON/ U.S. MARINES)
Royal Thai Armed Forces Master Sgt. 1st Class Saengchai Seeuthai pours cobra blood into the mouth of a U.S. soldier of the 20th Infantry Regiment during exercise Cobra Gold 19 at Phitsanulok, Thailand, on Feb. 13, 2019. (ROBERT G. GAVALDON/ U.S. MARINES)

US troops drink cobra blood, learn jungle survival in Thailand during Cobra Gold

by Carlos M. Vazquez II
Stars and Stripes

U.S. soldiers drank blood from cobras and water from the trunks of banana trees, survival skills their hosts taught them this week during the Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand this year.

Participants in the annual multinational exercise, one of the largest and longest-running in the world, consider its survival training a highlight of the event. Soldiers of the U.S. Army 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, and Royal Thai Armed Forces took part in training Wednesday at Phitsanulok, Thailand.

Thai instructors shared with the Americans their knowledge of food and water sources in the jungle. Drinking the still-warm blood of the namesake reptile is more than a show of bravado; it’s a life-sustaining measure.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.568762

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