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. Steve

    Next in the war on drugs...mines in the waters of the Rio Grande.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Sounds like some private company found yet another way to overcharge government (and they probably all vote Republican, too boot!).

    March 1, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • ccccccc

      Texas navy looks more advanced than the CHinese navy though.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      So...you...WANT?? more drug smugglers getting into the country with their drugs? Sounds like you have your own agenda and the boat makers are putting folks to work while you sit around and get high....

      March 1, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ted

    Sure would like to own one of those boats...lot of fun..

    March 1, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Keith

    This is a coast Guard job. We have had this border security problem for decades. Democrats and Republican leadership alike are to blame. Almost NONE of our elected Federal officials are doing their jobs with regard to border security. Sadly Border States are left to do what they can. This is just another example of states trying to protect themselves. Pretty ill advised, should have been a much lower draft water craft. The boat in the picture having a 2 foot draft is questionable. Certainly the outboards will need a lot more than two feet to operate in. A few rocks with take out and outboard quickly. The Rio Grande is pretty shallow a lot of the year, with jet propulsion and a super low draft boat, perhaps equipped, with heat imaging and rocket firing capability would be more along my choice if I were patrolling that area. The patrolman should be able to call in some military choppers when they encounter resistance, that way encounters with bad guys would end very quickly. After a few heavy drug cartel losses, the cartel bosses would look for other ways to maintain their profits.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Arden Clement

      Calling in air support to bombard/straf Mexico or our own side?

      March 1, 2012 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      How is this a Coast Guard job? Its a river.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      How is it bombarding Mexico if it is on our own side of the border? Wow. You smoke too much dope. Put...the....bong....down.....

      March 1, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • midas

      What do you have against cheap drugs and labor?

      March 1, 2012 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ted

    Declare 1/2 mile along Entire U.S. Mexico border a Military Zone..with Military law and rules..obviously a border war is coming as cartels emboldened and Mexico a Narco state..

    March 1, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave Moffett

      I we can elect Newt, he will take care of the problem by declaring war on Mexico. That's after he declares war on Iran, Syria, and N. Korea, of course. Gotta take care of those loose ends, you know.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. PHinMiami

    An important fact missing in the article was the length of the Rio Grande between Mexico & Texas. Seems CNN can't be bothered to do a minute of research to add credibility and relativity to their reporting.

    That would be 6 gun boats to patrol *1969 miles of river. . . . you're welcome.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Good point. That's a LOT of river.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • SLAmerican

      Very good point PHinMiami! That means nearly 330 miles to be covered by each boat. Hmm even if you ride at 60mph on the boat (Which is impossible) it would be over 5hrs to cover a 330 mile stretch one way! Then again we could argue something is better than nothing!!!

      March 1, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. anonymous

    Texas is so retarded. Invest in education and better health systems. Education and health awareness programs will be much more effective than militarization any day when it comes to reducing the consumption of drugs.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Sure pal...and foodstamp programs will get people to work instead of wait on a check from the government as well........We see how that's working out right now....

      March 1, 2012 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lord Vader

    I have a better plan....... Round up all the rusted bullets you can and station a stationary camera with a rifle attached to a pole every 100 feet. When the sensors go off. 5 guns start pelting the area for 5 minutes filling up the landscape with lead and dead criminals. Oh geez too much logic for a liberal infested website!

    March 1, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • capitan

      Yeah, that's it. Too much logic in your post. *sigh..*

      March 1, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • lance corporal

      rather be liberal than a killer

      but I guess you know family values better than me............

      March 1, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. rbcintexas

    Boy is this going to make some people in Washington mad – as in Obama and the jerk Holder.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. TexMan

    What a joke. Texas is in a drought. Most of the Rio Grande is so dry that you can walk the riverbed without getting your feet wet.

    Forget about boats. Get armed Predator Drones.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Alfred H

    These drug Mexican cartels wants to learn things the hard way don't they. The drug cartels don't know when to stop screwing around and not to mess with the United States Government.

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

    Please Texas secede! Lets think this through. Texas has 11.7 million anglos in a population of 25.8 million. You are already out numbered 2 to1. There are 113 million Mexicans on the other side of the river. Do the math for the cost of your own DHS, border patrol and army. I smell the next Alamo. Adjust your redneck tin foil hats. Arrogant Jacka$$es!

    March 1, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. TomNPitt

    Texas, Arizona and California welcomed in the "aliens" for years to do their labor. California built a fence, but you can;t keep the people out when their families are here. Texas and Arizona have always been the worst at this open door policy. Now they're complaining that the federal government caused it. Who bought and equipped these six boats anyway? This is about a million dollar project, just in the boats! Like the last guy said – these aren't going to be able to travel in two feet of water. This is a boondoggle of government pork. Just like when Perry said he didn't care how much it cost – he'd build the fence the first day he was in office. Don't hire them. Don't wink-wink recruit them. And punish anyone who does hire them. Anyone who says it's too much work, or too much money to research their background – double the fines. It's not my fault you're too cheap to do a background check. You sure don't mind paying them them to do your crap.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. lance corporal

    funny how the republcian/radical right have UNLIMITED money for what they think is important.........

    the "war on drugs" creates more problems and costs more than the drugs do!

    March 1, 2012 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tim P.

    Its a Coast Guard job because it is a body of water (river, lake, etc....) that is shared by a state with another country, that is what makes it Federal. The same thing applies to two states that share a body of water. The problem is the Coast Guard has no bodies and no funding to put personnel there. It is sad when other branches have more money for advertising than the Coast Guards entire budget.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
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