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. Jesus

    Now they will be running guns down south, way to go.

    February 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. UNI FAN

    We have America's biggest companies building factories in Mexico as fast as they can. In another 10 years, maybe the Texas Highway Patrol can give Americans a ride across the river to go to work.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Billo

    And I wanted to go tubing in Big Bend. It's not only Illegals it's the dam cartel gangs smuggling drugs into our country. Not to mention a gateway for Islamic terrorists. Git'er Done Texas!!

    February 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moceans

      I guess we're gonna have to patrol the Big LAkes now as well since the terrorists who bombed our country on 9/11 came through Canada you idiot!

      February 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Harrison

    Texas: Americas answer to worldwide stupidity.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ann-Belinda Honablezh

    Texas has the celebrated "Texas Rangers" lae enforcement officers, now they are starting their own NAVY to fight crime on water. Watch out this state is slowy becoming self-sufficient on its own, in the fight against crime.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim M.

      "Self-sufficient"? Are you serious? This is the very same state that got over a 1.4 TRILLION from the federal government in handouts from 2000-2006, thanks mostly to W, to help in prop up Texa*s's failed state economy. This is also the very same state that has exploited illegal Aliens for cheap labor, than counted them in millions on the 2010 US Census as residents, just to get four new house seats in Congress. Look up Texa*s in the Encyclopedia, and you'll find the word Sleaze appear quite a few times.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jim M.

    "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 Brownsville Herald editor seems to have virtually no knowledge about the Patrol Boats used on the Mekong during the Vietnam War. The PCF (Patrol Craft, Fast) AKA "Swift Boat" as it name implies was built for speed and was very lightly armored (only in specific locations), sailors often referred to these vessel's as floating tin cans, because of their lack of armor.

    This isn't the first time a Texan got Swift boat information incorrect, look at all those Texans who lied about their Swift boat service to bad mouth decorated Senator John Kerry, just so W couldn't be questioned about going AWOL a number of times, while he "served" in the Guard in the US as far from Vietnam as he could get.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • capitan

      I never understood how Bush won that small battler vs Kerry. Not the election, I get that, but that little side-battle about the Swift Boat, Purple Heart, etc. Kerry ACTUALLY WENT TO VIETNAM, Bush snorted coke in the Guard. Yet he (Kerry) was lambasted.. Well, it puzzles me until I realize I live in the United States of Hyperbole. God Bless America...

      March 1, 2012 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Durty Sanchazzzz

    Wait .. where is the best free lunch??? TX or Cali?

    February 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AGuest9

    Where can a fellow American send a check to help Texas man and service these boats?

    February 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. matt

    Could you imagine if Texas had the cowardly mentality of a northern state? We'd be speaking Spanish right now.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      As far as I can tell, you have as many spanish speakers as american, if not more. So, What cha talkin about Willis ?

      February 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      Bobcat, I live in DC. I inferred that the rest of our country would be speaking Espanol.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moceans

      You don't have the balls to speak spanish there pilgrim.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      I'm proud to say I served in Balad, Iraq in 2004. I'm not a coward, whatsoever. And before I get flak about Iraq being an unjust war, I agree. However, when you serve your country, you obey orders.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrulyFeral

      It must be kinda like the cowardly mentality required to post a statement like that anonymously instead of saying it to a northerners face.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      I'm from DC, and my parents are both from Mass. I stand by my comment.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • medstudent

      the "cowardly" north that beat the south into submission, forced them to free their slaves, and now pays the south's welfare as red states are the highest welfare states in the country?


      February 29, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      Medstudent, I'm not going to debate about a war that happened 150 years ago. I'm not sure what that has to do with this, anyhow. I/we live in 2012. I'm just sharing my opinion, and I enjoy reading other's perspectives on this issue. Sorry if my comment rubbed you the wrong way, but I stand by it.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • medstudent

      @Matt it's ok, of course you can stand by foolish comments that highlight your evident lack of education beyond a GED level.

      I'll happily work harder so I have enough money to contribute to some more red state welfare. The north is paying for your food stamps, don't you forget that.

      February 29, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      I think my grammar is decent enough evidence that I successfully finished High School. I even have a B.A. in Finance! I'm no doctor though; you've won this pudding contest. Clearly your more educated comments trump mine! Hats off.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. SkyKing

    Cops gone wild.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. aiquoy

    This is wrong. The police are meant to be a protective force. What is a protective force doing with weapons of destruction? Honestly, if the problem is that bad, the Military needs to intervene. It's one thing to have a trigger-happy cop behind a handgun or shotgun. It's another to put them behind a gun meant to DESTROY entire squads and level landscapes, let alone 6. It's overkill.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Wayne

    We already don't drink the Rio water. Maybe we'll leave enough to flush the corpses out to sea but bathing in Ozarka is gonna be costly, huh?

    February 29, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LouAZ

    Ha Ha Ha ! The reason the US Coast Guard does not operate on the Rio Grande is it is not a navigable river ! Other than Amistad Lake there is very little water in the "river" Typical of Cowboys buying water ski boats, and painting them like the Texas Hwy Patrol. Next thing they might try is operating some of the Cornflakes Air Force WW II fighters out of Harligen. By the way Tejas gave up all that 5 States secesion stuff when they joined the United States of America after the Civil War. Tejas has no special stautus as a State, except they have the Dallas Cowgirls NFL team, but they would like you to think they are special if you listen to their "Governor (?)", Rick Parry.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Texasaaa 

    They never ask The locals... I've fished those waters since the early 1970's.

    These Boats will float in Two feet of water ??? Hahaha

    We use boats with jet motors that will navigate in 2" of water!

    The Rio grande is treacherous! Rocks spring up the floor, hidden by the shadows of the walls of the huge canyons.

    These boats are useless in this fight. You need light weIght boats with jet motors! Speed, to catch the enemy but that takes bullet proof vests for protection for our guys.

    How rough are We to really get the job done?

    February 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. steinak

    Please, Mexico, take Tejas off of our hands. I'd love to rid ourselves of the whole lot of them.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
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