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. Corey

    I thought it was the job of the military to secure our borders?

    February 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phil in Oregon

      I think they're called the BORDER Patrol...

      February 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      That's the task of the Department of Homeland Security.Made up of a few LE outfits and the Coast Guard.Along with State,County and local Police. Not the Military . (other than Coast Guard).

      February 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hwy 9

    The "u.s. Military" (interesting capitalization...) doesn't have the manpower at the moment, thanks to Bushie boy, and "were" not "protecting a foreign country" – we're protecting our interests there (you don't honestly believe that we really start these wars to protect OTHERS, do you?

    February 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Huh?

      You should also thank the 'Messiah' who promised to bring them home with their tails between their legs but didn't....

      March 1, 2012 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. yowmemperor

    Go Texas! If you want something done right, do it yourself!

    February 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael Johnson

      Let me try the impossible: to educate a conservative. After all.these are people who believe stopping 396,000 entries from Mexico, the murders of two border patrol agents and flying aircraft over our border 24/7 amounts to "doing nothing. Excuse me for seeing these people as ignorant. Give me a better word to use.

      Why are El Paso and San Diego, both border cities, two of the ten safest cities in the US if nothing is being done? For you conservatives, El Paso is in Texas.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Oh yes, El Paso is in Texas. That's also the town that just had a woman shot in the leg from bullets fired from Juarez. That's in Mexico! And last year, the university building was peppered with gun fire from Mexico again. It's happening more and more.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Ahh yes 'Michael Johnson' – You are so educated that only YOUR way of thinking is the 'EDUCATED' way of thinking...Always a hoot to see posts like yours. You have made it known to the rest of us poor uneducated folk that only YOUR ideas are worthwhile since you seem to think can 'EDUCATE' another person to think the way you were programmed to think by people who told you WHAT to think and HOW to think....Meh. I fart in your general direction.' Education' is a word commonly used by people who think they are better than their fellow humans.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • 1stSgt-Topkick

      @ Huh?:

      Always great to see a supporter of the loser concept (education = snob) as advanced by Rick Santorum...
      Can't wait to see him win the GOP nomination with thinking like that.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. amontagno

    Not for long...I wouldn't be surprised at all when Obama sues Texas to have this stopped.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. blah9999

    I can hear every Texan from up here: "GET SOME!"

    February 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. MK

    The Federal Government doesn't matter much to Texas... Many Texans still think they seceded from the Union a long time ago. Texas does things their way on their own time tables.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael Johnson

      I wish Texas would leave the Union. Texas, the only time Mexico got over on us.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • WeDon'tMatter

      Boy they are dumb, Perry was just trying to get Texas out of the U.S. a couple of years ago. I'm sorry he didn't succeed, I'm all for giving Texas back to Mexico.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • montyross

      yea and give detroit back to Canada, that would reduce our welfare roles drastically......

      February 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      This is the dumbest comment I've seen on here. Most Texans think they are American. Also, for the sheep who followed, the US needs Texas' economy. So, you sound desperate.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • 1stSgt-Topkick

      To the contrary. Texas units played major roles in WW II and other wars. NASA put the entire control facility for manned space travel in Houston. Much of the Air Force learned to fly in Texas. And, where do you think the next spaceport will be built when New Mexico proves the economic viability of commercial (private) space travel?

      I ain't from Texas, but I certainly know better than to disrespect a state that's as big (or bigger than) the COUNTRY of France.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Suave

    God bless Texas!

    February 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Steve

    The Posse Comitatus Act is the United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed in 1878. the Act limits the powers of local governments and law enforcement agencies in using federal military personnel to enforce the laws of the land. and requires that any order to use federal troops must come from Congress.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James Nasium

      Ummmmm ... no. It specifically limits the power of the United States Army (and, by extension, the Air Force, since it was considered 'army' for so many years). Posse Comitatus does not cover the Navy or Marines.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. kathyrae

    to be able to do is interdict them on the water Interdict is not aword to use on this occasion..but not surprising for someone from texas

    February 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. NO NE

    I bet you they will be shaking in thier huaraches when they see the boats. They will need a curandera to cure them "de susto"

    February 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Panties

    I totally approve of the Texas Navy. Take out all of those Mexican drug traffickers. Don't Intercourse With Texas.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. dubrats

    it's about time....

    February 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ChicaGoBoomBoom

    LOL ~ Niiiice – but what we really truly need to is put a bounty on each head of each CRIMINAL that attempts to illegally enter this country. Say $2500.00 a head/scalp which is WAY less then what they and their anchor babies WILL suck out of this country.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • JD

      You're an idiot!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      The question here JD is – would you fight to support the 1st ammendment right of the person you called an idiot? Or would you want to take it away because you don't agree with them? Choose carefully, you are also a target of your own desire....

      March 1, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Scott

    How would that boat be able to patrol in two feet of water? a deep V?

    February 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. WDinDallas

    Shivers me timbers matey! Going to be alot of lead flying from that beast.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • WeDon'tMatter

      All illegal immigrant wannabees on the river bank are for target practice to get the crew ready for the guy carrying a joint in his pocket.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Guess you don't keep up with current events 'WeDon'tMatter'. Look at the world around you – I DARE you to go try and cross Irans border. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU. Go sneak over the Syrian border and try to get a job. Go ahead. The U.S has the worst illegal immigration problem in the WORLD. Wanna know why? Because folks like you don't want to obey the LAW. Illegal immigration is a CRIME. How about me and 500 others decide your belongings are now ours? Theft is against the law in this country, or should I whine about it until I get to take your stuff?

      March 1, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
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