Indonesian Troops Show Off Snake-Handling Skills for Mattis

JAKARTA — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis got an up-close look at Indonesian commandos – including soldiers walking on fire and breaking bricks with their heads.

The commandos performed for Mattis at the conclusion of a two-day visit in which Mattis expressed interest in closer U.S. contacts with Indonesia special forces.


With music as a backdrop, Mattis looked on in silence as the commandos demonstrated their hostage-rescue skills, snake-handling and hand-to-hand combat training.

Afterward, Mattis was flying to Hanoi for his first visit to Vietnam.


Story: Robert Burns