Thailand’s annual Cobra Gold military exercise, where Thai soldiers train the US and other foreign troops on jungle survival skills, is being scaled down this year due to the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
The large, multinational military exercise has been known for its snake decapitating demonstration where soldiers drink the fresh blood from the headless snake before cooking the meat. Last August, after calls to stop the snake demonstration and others that involve killing animals, PETA announced that not a single animal was killed in the 2021 Cobra Gold exercise.
The Royal Thai Armed Forces say Cobra Gold, which is run in coordination with the US military since the 1980s, will be downsized this year to 3,600 troops with 1,700 of them from the US and other participating countries while the other 1,900 are Thai soldiers. The event will run from February 20 to March 5.
The Bangkok Post doesn’t mention if Cobra Gold will host its notorious survival demonstrations, like beheading a live chicken or eating a scorpion. A report says this year the exercise will run field-training exercises. Training that involves a significant number of people, such as live fire, amphibious, and evacuation operations, will be cancelled.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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