Watch: Marines eat scorpions, spiders, drink King Cobra blood in Thailand

US service members got a taste of the jungle this month after attending jungle survival training at the Cobra Gold 2017 multinational military training exercise in Thailand.

Members of the USAF 5th Air Support Operations Squadron and the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines participated in the exercise with Royal Thai Marine Reconnaissance troopers, learning how to survive in a hostile environment using only the materials found in the jungle.

“When you are out there by yourself, you cannot worry about your emotions,” said Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Pairoj Prasansai, a Thai Reconnaissance Marine. “When your life is on the line, you simply have to do what you have to do to survive. You have to value your life.”

The training involved learning about the fauna and flora of the unforgiving Thai jungles, making weapons out of wood, preparing food and eating creatures such as scorpions, cobras and tarantulas.

“I had the opportunity to learn about different ways to survive off of just plants and animals in a harsh jungle terrain,” said Marine 1st Lieutenant Clifford Foreman. “One of the most valuable aspects about this training is the perspective and experience for our Marines to interact with other marines from partner nations showcasing just how effective they can be. That experience instills confidence when we have to work with one another in future operations.”

According to AFN Pacific, Cobra Gold training places great emphasis on jungle survival, with participating nations taking advantage of the exercise to better plan and conduct joint operations in jungle terrain unique to Asia.

“This training is very important because the U.S. Marines deploy all around the world and will experience most of what we have taught in this training in some of those areas,” said Prasansai. “So it is a good thing when they come to the Asia-Pacific and learn about the dangerous aspects of the jungle and how to survive in it.”

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