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. Doh

    Unfortunately, the boats will probably encounter a better armed opposition.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Derek in Houston

    A little reminder to all the paranoid anti-immigrant types posting here. This isn't about immigration - legal or illegal. It's about drug smuggling. I think all of us (99 percent anyway) are against illicit drugs coming into the country.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • DoubleW

      The paranoid types might be paranoid because they are using that imported meth. It has that effect on people.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • LENNY

      Dereck, I agree, this is about drug smuggling not illegals. Swiftboats for the Great State of TEXAS on the Rio is the best news I've heard in a long time about interdiction. I'm impressed that the boats are named after fallen troopers. I'm from So. Cal. and say, " it's about time".

      February 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • dreamer96

      True ..I'm for getting the drug smugglers...but you might upset some rich folks in the U.S. that pretend to be up front Americans, but actually make big bucks off the drug trade...When Reagan declare war on drugs...the drug use in the U.S. actually went up, and so did the drug profits...for some people on both sides of the boarder..

      February 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex Blanco

      Imported meth?

      How far out of touch do people have to be before they realize its time to STHU.

      Free to have an opion, but not smart enough to build ones own – just regurgitate ignorant disdain and hate.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. todd


    February 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nick

    Get rid of the illegal aliens and there would be jobs for Americans!!!! The illegal condoners all say the same thing"no one else would do those jobs". That's a copout....How do you know people would refuse these jobs? Lets find out. As of now no one knows because those jobs are all taken, by illegal aliens. If those people were to suddenly leave those jobs, I bet they'd be taken by Americans who have more pride to work than to sit on their ass with their hand out. Employers who hire illegals should be jailed....Illegals need to be deported NOW....

    February 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Old Gov. Rick Perry is waging his own holy war in Texas since he can't be President. He's gonna get a whole lot of people killed and President Obama is gonna have to cleanup his mess.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich in TX

      While I hold no love for Perry, I'm curious what the heck makes you say that – gunboats to stop smuggling = some kind of holy war? How do you figure that?

      February 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hispanic republican

      Since you are not on the border and we have a relative there working DPS you have no idea what is happening. The amount of drugs, violence and danger that is being inflicted on children, teens and families is unending. Our Troopers and citizens face danger every minute of every day.
      Since Obama refuses to making sure we have a closed border Gov Perry is only doing what he is suppose to do...take care of it on behalf of the citizens of this State!

      February 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bulkythedog

    Yes they work for low wages... UNDER THE TABLE. That means they pay ZERO taxes on whatever money is made. On top of that the rest of us taxpayers support their kids in school with free lunches and health care for the whole lot, all while they send whatever money they've made back to their home country wherever that may be, and we wonder why out economy is tanking (not the only reason of course but still a thorn). The reason people are so big on "legal" immigration and the reason it's such a lengthy process is partly in due to make sure that they want to become true Americans and will wind up staying here after the process. This country and it's citizens should not be treated like some fly by night seasonal job. So please stop sticking up for illegals it only makes you look childish and I'll-informed. Thanks.... USA! USA! USA!

    February 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PT

    What do the rest of you slacker states have to say? Texas has a navy with gunboats and everything! Yippe-I-O-Kai-A from a Proud Texan.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • dreamer96

      And that Texas boat is a better warship than most of the Iranian Navy boats too....

      February 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      It's illegal.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dreamer96

    So are the Texan's going to gun down the women swimming the Rio Grand with their kids...or just run them over with the boat....

    February 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agent Frank

      Either one is fine, but if you can save the bullets......

      February 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Beltway Insider

    The Democrats has a majority in the House and Senate for the last two years of Bush's Presidency and the fist two years of Obama's Presidency, and Obama di dnot have the stones to pass immigration reform. Obama would rather have imiigration anarchy in this country rather than be a leader and get immigration and our borders under control.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dreamer96

    Seems like a big expense just so some Texan's can go fishing, and get paid for it too...

    February 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agent Frank

      What are they going to catch ? A gardener ? Maybe a house keeper if they are lucky.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • dreamer96

      Agent Frank

      Do you have any idea what a really go garden is worth these days..a lot ...for bragging rights at garden parties for the rich.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hispanic republican

      Why don't you take a trip down there for a couple of days and see how "fishing" you get to do while you are looking over your shoulder hoping not the be kidnapped by the drug runners or forced to assist them. You know not what you speak so please do us all a favor and don't speak. True Texans take care of their own State!

      February 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dreamer96

    SO how many Texas State Officials have an illegal gardener, or landscaper mowing their lawn, or a maid, or cook, or nanny working for them, or a janitor cleaning their offices.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave

    These are better boats than the Iranians have in their navy. Nice to see more wasted tax dollars. At least put little mexicans on the side of it for those you took out with the gun.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DC Observer

    President Obama has the answer to immigration reform and border security. He is going to the Rio Grande border crossing in April and he will deliver a speech that he will broadcast into Mexico by a bull horn,. In this landmark speech, Obama will ask the mexicans to please not cross over into this country illegally. He will then turn the bull horn around towards the US and ask all the illegals to please return to Mexico or their home country. This is your leader .... in action again. Of course, this speech is contingent on being able to plug in a teleprompter on the banks of the Rio Grande ... if this cannot be done, then immigration reform and border security will have to wait

    February 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ryan

    Use those machine guns to light those zetas up!!!! USA!!!

    February 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jimmy

    Great idea Texas.If the feds would do their job and protect the borders you would not have to do this.The federal government in Washington D.C. may have outlived its usefulness.We may be better off without them if we could devise a different system for fifty states to provide for National defense,foreign policy operations and a National treasury.Ron Paul has a lot of good ideas but we can't get him elected.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
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