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. Chach

    i wonder if they are allowed to shot back at the cartels on Mex soil, if not these are gonna be useless unless they actually catch them on the river which the chance is slim to none. :/ A for effort tho texas. PS i live in TEXAS 5 miles from the river

    February 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken in MD

      If they do, they'll effectively be declaring war on Mexico. If that's the case, let them secede like Perry wanted to.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • nick

      Long live the republic of Texas

      February 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pherz

    Lol.. 'interdict them in water' .. more like blow them-to-smithereens-if-needed-in-water.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MMallon

    Texas DPS is responsible for curbing illegal activity state-wide. I am happy to see it, although only as a precursor to Texas taking its own security more seriously, not as any kind of legitimate response to trafficking of illegal drugs. The drug war is a joke and Texas, as a border state, unfortunately labors under heavy politlcal burdens placed on it by both Mexico and the US federal government. But if this is a first step, instead, toward real security along the border, it is a positive development.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2tor

      It's your problem too, as well as every other states. Why is it you think it's Texas's responsibility to enforce federal law? It's just as much yours as it is anyone else's. and you've done what for your part?

      February 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 2tor

    How long till Holder and Obama sue them for doing what it is Holder and Obama refuse to do, enforce our laws?

    February 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • xavier, Austin, Tx.

      why didn't bush enforce the laws? Crybaby always wanting to blame Obama
      .

      February 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mike

    they should be using the concrete flat bottom boats used by the river rats in vietnam. operate in less than 1 ft of water and very difficult to sink. carries the same or more firepower and are much less expensive.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • nosepicker

      There are shallow sections of the Rio Grand that boat wil not be able to navigate...

      February 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And by that same token, the cartels won't be able to navigate them, either.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RED SOLO CUP

    MAYBE SOME OF THE 49,000 LAID OFF TEACHERS COULD RUN THE BOATS !

    February 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • RED SOLO CUP

      AND IF NOT MAYBE THAT POOR MISSUNDRESTAMATED DRUG STORE COWBOY THE W CAN RIDE INTO
      TOWN AND SAVE US ALL !!

      February 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mogul

    What a dumb idea.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pherz

    He who controls the water in the desert controls everything

    February 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lmao

    What a way to waste my fk tax money....

    February 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Troy in Austin

    I guess it could work. IF they catch them IN the river. Fat chance.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Blue liner in past>>>>>

    Well some one is finally working to close the D.... Border!!!!!!! What a genius!!!!!! But it is elementary!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Blue liner in past>>>>>

    No one should be ELECTED, till they swear under oath to close border not talk about it,or they must be removed from office at once!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      YEE HA!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrew Friet

    I am sure lord and master Eric "let's move guns to Mexico" Holder will file suit against the State of Texas saying that it is the Federal responsibilility to ensure border security. I am sure that will go over well with the Texas legistlature. All of Holders efforts will be for naught when Arizona wins the SB1070 suit in the US Supreme Court this year!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GrantTX

    About DAMN time

    February 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DS

    ((((( REMEMBER THE ALAMO!!! )))))

    February 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Remember the a la mode! Sam Houston ordering a pie and ice cream.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
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