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. Lions fan

    I used to think Texans were, by and large, idiots. I now realize that I was giving them far too much credit.

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

      I was in Austin a few years back. Nice city. The people there I spoke with told me not to be fooled though, because "as soon as you leave Austin, your back in Texas".

      March 1, 2012 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Doc

      are you really that much of an idiot ? we are being invaded and no one cares. the drugs,guns and illegals that are sneaking in are costing us several billion dollars in our tax money to combat and take care of. cheapest way to fix this,start shooting them at our border !

      March 1, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      It cracks me up when people like "reality checker" have been to Texas "once" or a "few times" and make the same tired generalization about the whole state. Kind of hard to make assumptions about a state that has cities 900 miles apart supposedly "full of rednecks", when the caucasion population is only 45%. We're also uneducated and illiterate, yet rank #1 or #2 in most job sectors including technology, and have the top cancer treatment/research center in the nation(MD Anderson). Not saying there aren't people here with their "views", or that this state is anywhere near perfect, but atleast make an educated point if you're going to.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Checker

      @Daniel. I was saying I thought Austin was nice. I quoted a saying that people who lived there told me was common, meaning you might like Austin but it doesn't represent Texas.

      If you read the majority of the posts on this subject they do make Texas and Texans sound like gun-toting idiots. And now Texas ads to that perception by building GUNBOATS to patrol the river.

      And, I repeat, I liked Austin.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lions fan

    Think of the PR problem Texas "Navy" is going to have the first time they "accidently" shoot up a bunch of kids crossing the border with their family. The part of the country that doesn't worship Glen Beck will be mad as hell, but the 5% that do lick his rear will of course be more vocal, saying the children deserved it because their parents didn't do the paperwork first.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Most of the population(and police force) along the Texas border is Hispanic(37% of the whole state is), so keep your ignorant northeast comments to yourself. The boats are to be used in remote areas known as hot spots for drug trafficing, although confrontations with hostile human smugglers(coyotes) is possible.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. medstudent

    Watch these oh so brilliant texans end up getting stranded just over the mexican border where the cartels will have free reign to start shooting, and the texas highway patrol won't be able to do a damn thing because you can't start taking a government agency militarized vehicle over the border and start firing as that would be an act of war.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • HenryMiller

      Mexico's refusal to control their side of their border has resulted in a kind of quiet invasion of the US, which is also an act of war.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. George

    The question is when will Obama sue Texas? If he thinks Arizona does not have the right to enforce the border, why should Texas have that right?

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

      Shortly before Texas secedes?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Go_for_it

    If the Feds won't stop the illegal immigrants, then it's up to the individual States to do it.

    Go for it, Texas! bag a few wetbacks...

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

    I know quite a few people who have moved south for work over the past decade. Generally, the economy in the south is much healthier than northern states. Again, I said 'generally'.

    February 29, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    Would it not have been FAR CHEAPER to just infest the river with CROCODILES??? I can guarantee you that the illegal crossings would stop immediately and be permanent. Besides, crocodiles work for free and would be on duty 24 hours a day. No need to go out and buy gun boats and machine guns and hire people to patrol. DUH!

    February 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 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.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. HenryMiller

    Of course, it should be the responsibility of the federal government to protect the US border, but the Obama administration seems determined to buy the Hispanic vote–and increase the number of (illegal) Hispanic voters–by abdicating that responsibility. Utterly contemptible...

    March 1, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Checker

      You mean the same border that Bush never protected?

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

    that is awesome! we need more of this kind of spirit!
    armor plating & machine guns! YES!!!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. Charlie

    Yep that's the South. I'm from Louisiana and know what I am talking about. The only good thing about Texas and their big population of rednecks is that they take the spot light off of the rest of the South from time to time. I bet the money they wasted repaying some boat dealer and military contractor who licked Rick Perry's boots was enough to provide textbooks or vaccinations to every child within the borders of the Lone Star state.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. D.Smithee

    Six boats? For the Rio Grande? Okay. That'll do exactly, uh, nothing.

    Don't mess with Texas!

    March 1, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lenny Pincus

    Old joke. How do you find Texas? Walk west until you smell sh!t. That's Oklahoma. Then walk south until you step in it.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. john baker

    About time! Glad to see the Highway Patrol on the water! Go get'em THP!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Violetcin

    You morons want toi attack the Mex/Tex border. I want to the automatic acceptence of boat people from Cuba and Haiti. That needs to stop! Then I wouldn't have a problem with the border issues.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
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