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. A for American

    The majority of this 'Texas navy' activity is likely, and deservedly, to be on the 60 mile long Falcon Lake reservoir formed from the Rio Grande. The purpose of these boats is likely more about interdiction of illegal drugs than illegal aliens. Recall this is the lake where an American citizen (David Michael Hartley) on a jet ski was pursued and killed by 2 gun boats with armed and purported Mexican drug runners; his wife narrowly escaped. Both had been on the Mexican side of the lake and were pursued with gunfire across the U.S. border. The lake is known for frequent 'pirate' attacks on American recreational boaters and is frequently noted for drug activity of various cartels and shoot-outs with U.S. authorities. Six gunboats probably isn't enough to even make a dent in the illegal drug traffic; I would expect some reconnainsance and armed drones to be on the scene some time soon. Thank you Texas for doing what our federal government will not!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tiff

      Yes, I agree it sounds like it is more for the drug issues.. I'm sure that will be their main focus. But as they see the successes I'msure they wil expand

      February 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bringit

    Let the good times roll!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jt_flyer

    Finally!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Cambride Ray

    "We are going to need a bigger boat..."

    February 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Babak from LA

    Nice toy!!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Tachoman

    Boats that large for a river you can cross on foot ...
    I can already see the red necks waving their hats and shooting to the air, yeeha!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • b

      that is what is needed , more rednecks they don't fool around when they make up their mind

      February 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Moonshine

    I'll man one of the machine guns for no cost......... in fact I'm willing to pay for my own ammo.....

    February 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JOE

    Finally, Happy Hunting!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. eldono

    Give them good ole white boys something to do. Over 1000 miles of river and 6 boats. Don't interrupt me!! I'm doing the math!

    February 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. centexan©

    Not only do i support using the boats, I also support building a wall from the Gulf to El Paso.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. eldono

    All we need to do is have unrestricted entry into the US and absolutely NO PUBLIC ASSISTANCE. Simple.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. KH16

    If you're not Native American, you're an illegal.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Catharsis

      who says native americans are native? or legal? they invaded north america 12000 years ago and wiped out the true native americans...

      February 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • KH16

      I bet you believe Columbus really discovered America, too.

      February 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catharsis

      intellectual dullard

      February 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RED SOLO CUP

    A GUY WITH AN AK-47 JUST SHOT A COP IN A BANK HIEST IN CHINO ,CAL. HE LOOKED LIKE DEALER
    FROM MEXICO, FACE MASK,BULLET PROOF VEST AND DROVE A CAR WITH ARIZONA PLATES,SO IT'S
    HERE IT'S ON AND YOU BETTER GET READY !

    February 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Catharsis

    the cartels will retaliate with unrestricted submarine warfare

    February 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. HellooooooAntiWhites

    What is the point of defending the border, in a multiracial country?

    No one is Demanding the Middle East be flooded with Non-Arabs and is telling everyone to "mix in".

    No one is Demanding Africa or Asia be flooded with foreigners and is telling everyone to "mix in".

    "Anti-racists" Demand massive immigration and forced integration for all White countries and only White countries.

    This "assimilation" or blending is nothing more than an attempt to wipe out my race, the White race. It is genocide.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Americal70

      what do you call flooding Israel with european and african jews?

      March 2, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
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