Defense Secretary Jim Mattis watched Indonesian troops demonstrate a variety of rare skills during a performance Wednesday that included drinking snake blood, walking on fire, breaking bricks with their heads and rolling in glass.
The group of reporters traveling with Mattis on the three-day trip to Indonesia had been told he would view a routine military demonstration at Indonesia's armed forces headquarters.
One Indonesian soldier who wore a hood over his face used a knife to cut a cucumber that was in his colleague's mouth. Another blindfolded man shot a balloon that was in between another soldier's legs. One of the shots missed, but Reuters reported no one appeared to have been injured.
In another demonstration, soldiers brought out live snakes, including a King Cobra. They dropped the snakes just feet from Mattis, but before the snakes could attack, the men cut off their heads and drank the animals' blood. One Indonesian bit into a live snake.
"You could imagine how much training went into each individual there, that they were able to do that," Mattis later told reporters aboard his plane. "When you watch a force do that, many small things, perfectly, you can imagine that they can also put the bigger things together."
Other Indonesian forces broke concrete bricks with their heads and smashed piles of burning blocks with their hands.
The event concluded to the sound of the "Mission Impossible" movie soundtrack as the soldiers held a hostage rescue operation.
The Indonesian military is hoping to grow its relationship with the Pentagon after human rights abuses in the 1990s prompted the U.S. to impose restrictions on their relationship.