It's that time of the year again: When Marines go to Thailand to learn what they can eat and drink in the jungle – and cobras look for a good place to hide.

About 3,600 U.S. troops are in Thailand taking part in Cobra Gold 17, of which about are 1,600 Marines, said Master Sgt. Stephen Traynham, a spokesman for the exercise, which has been held annually for the past 36 years.

The Marine units participating in this year's exercise include the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, which consists of elements of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines; 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment; Combat Logistics Battalion 31; and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Traynham said.

"Similar to last year, Cobra Gold 17 emphasizes coordination on civic action, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, seeking to expand regional cooperation and collaboration in these vital areas," he said.

Global geopolitics aside, the exercise is an opportunity for Marines to take a jungle survival training course led by Thai troops, in which Devil Dogs typically drink cobra blood, eat scorpions and bite into freshly slaughtered chickens.

Chow down Marines! Jalapeno cheese spread goes well with cobra.

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