Texas 'navy' to patrol the Rio Grande
Texas will deploy a fleet of six gunboats on the Rio Grande.
February 29th, 2012
02:11 PM ET

Texas 'navy' to patrol the Rio Grande

Texas is getting its own navy.

Next month, the state's Department of Public Safety will deploy the first of a fleet of six gunboats on the Rio Grande, the river that forms the border between the state and Mexico, CNN affiliate WFAA-TV reports.

The 34-foot-long boats, each powered by three, 300-horsepower outboard engines, will have bulletproof plating and six machine guns apiece, not unlike the river patrol boats the U.S. Navy used during the Vietnam War.

The vessels will be able to operate in as little as 2 feet of water, according to the report, and will work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to combat drug smuggling coming across the Rio Grande.

"They're finding out when those people are coming across, and one of the things they need to be able to do is interdict them on the water," Texas state Rep. Paul Workman told CNN affiliate KVUE-TV when the first of the boats, the JD Davis, was christened in December.

"If you're trying to suppress organized smuggling activity, there's no substitute for putting people on the ground," Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven C. McCraw said at the December ceremony. "The way they're operating right now, you need them on the water as well."

"It sends a message: Don't mess with Texas," Jose Rodriguez, a regional commander of the Texas Department of Safety, told WFAA.

The six boats will be named after Texas state troopers killed in the line of duty. The first was named after Jerry Don Davis, who was shot and killed in 1980. Another, to be commissioned Thursday in Austin, will be named in honor of  trooper David Irvine Rucker, who was killed in 1981, according to The Brownsville Herald.

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Filed under: Crime • Drug violence • Drugs • Texas
soundoff (1,047 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    The alligator idea...cute.
    Rio Grand? Mexicans? Texas navy? What about the St.Lawrence seaway...drugs never come in through there right?
    The job isn't done 'till the fat lady sings.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Cyle

    Nice boat.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Mike

    Yee Ha! That's what I like about Texas. They don't care what people think, they see a problem and they go and fix it. Good for them. I am sure that Atty General Holder will be on about that being the job of the Coast Guard or some such silliness. I am glad states are assuming responsibilities the Fed will not (or cannot) enforce. When some US citizen get whacked while out jet-skiing it is good that the State will protect it's citizenry. Good for the Arizona governor for stepping up. I'm not anti-immigration, in fact I support the 600,000 permanent resident visas that are issued every year on a quota basis to increase the diversity in the USA. We have always, and will always welcome new citizens. Having said that, I have zero used for criminals who break the law by coming illegally or overstaying their visas. Being here illegally for 20 years or so is no excuse, so all the trolls out there can hold the race card comments or whatever it is you people say, my argument is come legally or stay home.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Portland tony

      You keep using the term WE as if you spoke for everyone. But I'm glad Governor Perry has gotten his own navy and won't be using the US's!

      February 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyrus

      Oh Mike...where do I begin to change your delusional mind!! So, Texas has a $27 billion deficit, remember? It's broke as a joke and doesn't have any money to buy anything new. So, the Texas Department of Public Safety received federal funding to buy gun boats and work alongside Customs and Border Protection (CBP) (Under the federal govt.) to watch over Rio Grande.

      Since 9/11, Texas has received about $1.7 billion in Homeland Security funding, and last year they also received several million ($28.6 to be exact) from DHS for border security. Texas is not doing this because it is fed up with the Federal Govt. or Eric Holder. It's doing this because the federal govt. has given it enough money to protect our border.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Indeeds

      @Cyrus
      The state of Texas has a huge budget surplus, most of the multi-billion dollar DEBT occurred when the Federal government passed Universal Healthcare and stuck the states with the entirety of the Medicare expense for the year it passed rather than giving them the standard appropriations they did every year.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyrus

      Indeeds:

      Texas has ran an average deficit of $4.6 billion per year continuously since 2006. The temporary "surplus" in 2009 had to do with billions in stimulus funding, which Gov. Perry used to pay bills and pay salaries. The current deficit has absolutely nothing to do with the passage of healthcare. Please look at the Texas legislature and the budget analysis before making such unfounded assertions.

      February 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Cyrus, do you defend Federal deficit spending but not State deficit spending? Do you think 4.6 b / year for such a large economy is out of proportion? Do you not think that the Fed being at odds with Texas is trying to bankrupt the State so that it becomes dependent? O no, the State is protecting it's borders against drug smugglers. That sucks.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • USRECCE

      Oh cyrus....how have you become so intellectually corrupt? These boats were paid for by the cartels using siezed assets. Not a dime from your messiah or his racist attorney general. And as for the supposed $27 billion deficit, you spew liberal talking points as if you were married to rachel madcow. Texas has never run a deficit because it cannot do so by law. What you are misrepresenting is the reduction in FUTURE spending due to forecasted revenue shortfalls. Texas still has a $9 billion rainy day fund (also known as a surplus) that has been used by your messiah and his Anti-American regime to withhold federal funding for things like the recent wildfires. Free your mind from the yolk of your socialist masters and try using supportable facts next time, not liberal talking points!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Greek American

    @Mike
    So Texas sees problems and then fixes them?
    What's your excuse for GWB then?
    Hahahahahahahaha

    February 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • IgnoranceIsBad

      @Greek American
      GWB was born in Connecticut.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Greek American

    Rick Perry?
    Hahahahaha

    February 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. MrWright

    Texas Vice. Now where is that TV show?

    February 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. CarryNOW

    How long before Obama sues them to put a stop to this?

    February 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • larry simpson

      Texas really doesn't care what Obama thinks!

      February 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyrus

      Yeah..rah rah rah..Obama. Texas has a $27 billion budget deficit and received $28.6 million in Homeland Security funding last fiscal year to protect its border (including, buy new equipment and vehicles). But hey...who cares about the numbers on Texas's own budget. Rah rah rah.

      People like you are a crying indictment of our education system and a give a bad name to Texas.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Cyrus, Texas receives money from HLS, spends it on boats to protect the border, suddenly there's something wrong with that?

      March 1, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • USRECCE

      ONE MORE TIME! Oh cyrus....how have you become so intellectually corrupt? These boats were paid for by the cartels using siezed assets. Not a dime from your messiah or his racist attorney general. And as for the supposed $27 billion deficit, you spew liberal talking points as if you were married to rachel madcow. Texas has never run a deficit because it cannot do so by law. What you are misrepresenting is the reduction in FUTURE spending due to forecasted revenue shortfalls. Texas still has a $9 billion rainy day fund (also known as a surplus) that has been used by your messiah and his Anti-American regime to withhold federal funding for things like the recent wildfires. Free your mind from the yolk of your socialist masters and try using supportable facts next time, not liberal talking points!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. The all potent one

    Bet the idea to name one Eric Holder didn't get a lot of votes

    February 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Greek American

    How long befor Romney and Gangreenich take credit for the idea? Santorum will say he was involved with the research and development.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chaz

      I empathize with your feelings towards the current and past crop of GOP pols, but you really undercut your points with name calling and silly nicknames. Make your points like an adult, please? Dems & Reps acting like children is how we have gotten ourselves into this mess in the first place.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. teresa

    good news for a change!!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mrPhillip

    This is pretty funny. The Texas Navy. Bwahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Arizona gonna get one too???

    February 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. larry simpson

    so how long before the cartels mine the rio grande

    February 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JC

    Just how much this will accomplish is questionable, but it's fascinating none-the-less. Texas held on to few rights that other states did not. If I remember correctly, part of the agreement which made Texas a state allowed it to maintain a navy (since the state had one at that time), and to split itself into 5 pieces without consulting congress. Naturally, the state isn't about to split itself into pieces, but if I heard right, historically, they used to maintain a tiny navy which was "rented" out on occasion.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • larry simpson

      Thus the Lone Star State! Yes we have our own navy,air force,and army. Don't mess with Texas

      February 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Greek American

    @ignorance
    Thanks, but my point was he was REARED in Texas right?

    February 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. WeDon'tMatter

    A box of sea rations, Creedence Clearwater Revival blaring and a person could feel at home on that boat.

    February 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rick

      Just a friendly correction: It's actually C-Rations. :) Just sayin'. :

      February 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • WeDon'tMatter

      I knew it didn't look right but 1971 was a long time ago and I am getting old.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
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