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.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Drug violence • Drugs • Texas
soundoff (1,047 Responses)
  1. a eli

    im of Hispanic descent and if my family was kidnapped or hurt because of these thugs with no respect for the law i will gut them like a fish.....

    February 29, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cherokee

      Then suggest to your family that if they wish to come to the US, do it legally.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      @Cherokee – you're ignorant. You didn't even ready what he said and only saw Hispanic. Stupid, blind, and a bigot.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimmerz

      ihmmm...illegal means illegal. If you come here legally, you won't have to face these boats..ever think of that?

      February 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • pat carr

      "@Cherokee – you're ignorant. You didn't even ready what he said and only saw Hispanic. Stupid, blind, and a bigot"

      spare us the slurs. he's right and you know it.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yossarian

      "a eli" is in no position to talk about respect for the law.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      Clearly he's talking about the smugglers and cartel violence

      February 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      Why not, Yossarian?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ray C

    We should take the troops that are returning from Iraq and use them to protrol the border,

    February 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • xavi

      Man, you guys really need to learn English!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marty

      .....or you could do it after you get back from Iraq. Oh wait, never mind.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dennis

    it cost dallas over 6m a year just on hospital cost for these breedersthat come here to drop there babys

    February 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I see CNN has readers with a great IQ. Comment section gives a voice to idiots and republicans....one in the same.

      February 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      "there babys" will probably learn better English than you.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Achilles

      Steve, why did you capitalize the 'E' in english? Is it a proper noun now? Talk about a grammar problem!

      February 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      David: You are correct, in your own way. I believe since you used the plural form of "readers" you should also use the plural form of IQ. That way they would match, like they are supposed to.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raul

      Next you are going to tell us that illegals are to blame for your poor command of your native language....

      February 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. midas

    Oh no the price of cocaine and pot will rise for the entire white drug addicted nation.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • f

      yea you better start working overtime

      February 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • quickie

      Yup. Small minded people like you midas that think that 'white' people, in its whole or as a nation are drug addicted. Its not the truth. Most 'white', or Americans (I think you meant non hispanic or mexican) of any color stay far, far away from these things because we know it is wrong and leads to nothing but supporting the crap people that taunt it. It is the one out of a thousand that you, in some obligatory defensive response you give your illegal freedoms give your 2 cents? Me, I am white. Give me 10 dollars an hour (what most illegals wont work for) and a pick, and I will help make that damn river a MILE wide so that it can support the force this country needs. I can change a country, one shovel at a time.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Greek American

    The bullhorn plan still sounds better and CHEAPER than hey let's build a tall fence around the entire southern border. Oh and don't forget to take anyone and everyones land if it is in the way of this smart project.
    How did that work out for ya?

    February 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hannah Fontana

    We need to occupy Mexico and remake it in our own image. Mexico is a third world country run by the Pope. ALL of Mexico should have come under US control in the 1840's. It's not too late to fix that little problem. Now is the time for action!

    February 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. stevie in fiji

    I would think jet drive or airboats or even hovercraft boats. A prop driven outboard boat? Pretty easy to damage in many ways and expensive to run. Lots of floating and submerged stuff in that waterway. Must be just in special areas? The amount of tax dollars to fix and maintain these babies will be interesting. I wonder who makes the hulls and who makes the engines. Bet that tells half the story as to why this set up is being used, huh? Why not have lightweight mini drone boats with cams and wepons. No overtime there or human costs ....I mean unless you are the target of course......muuuuuuuhahahahahahahah!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. James

    Well, Texas has had a "Navy" since 1836, in point of fact, though it's been largely ceremonial for the last 150 years. We do have the distinction of having the only sailing ship in history that ever defeated a steam-powered ship in combat. We also captured Cozumel once, though we gave it back. Screwed up on that one...

    February 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Greek American

    Is Senator McCain going to be the head captain for this elite naval squad?

    February 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • dc

      He's from Arizona, Lefty.

      February 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. darmonx

    Secede! The federal government did not pay for any of this!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Troy

    I love how socialists like to call those that disagree with them "ignorant" and "stupid." The simple truth is that Mexicans and other "laitnos" are bringing their failed, third-world society with them when they come here.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • dc

      Liberal Democrats can't make intelligent arguments, so they resort to pointing out spelling & grammar mistakes and calling people names like "stupid," "moron" & "idiot." At lieast it makes them easy to spot....

      February 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. acyork50

    Texas can now secure it's own border – 1200 miles of the southern US border without having to respond to the US government, Outstanding Texas – I will buy bullets for the guns if you choose to shoot them!

    February 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rossbach

    Forty years ago, the US-Mexico border had even fewer barriers to illegal entry than it does today, yet we had far less illegal immigration. That is because our government used to enforce our immigration laws. While I have no objection to strengthening physical security on the border, this is not the principal deterrent to illegal entry (these river patrols can’t be everywhere at once). If illegals knew that once they crossed the border into the US they would not past the first policeman, far fewer would attempt it. Without swift and consistent interior enforcement of immigration law, no barrier can stop this invasion.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Muggsy3

    about time! of course you KNOW the person in the WH and his cronies will tell the Feds to sue TX as targeting minorities AND unfairy discriminating against poor latinos.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rideallday

    What a waste of money......Notice how they didn't mention the cost of the boats. I bet they have minimal effect.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • pogojo

      This is great how can americans contribute to this effort?

      February 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31