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. stateles

    you all sound kind of like you never made it out of grade school?

    March 1, 2012 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. LB

    I wish the politicians here in CA would take similar measures to protect our southern border.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Boats don't do too well in sand.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lee

    LOL... Smells like silly macho posturing... They need yet another (larger) engine (3 X 300 is puny) and a longer "Gun".

    This is for mainly show. It's part of politics but it's a waste of money for the benefit if making someone look "Tuff". This is real Texas style, just like Geo Bush's MASSIVE codpiece on his flight-suit while he strutted around on the aircraft carrier with the "Mission Accomplished" banner behind him.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Susie

      Translation: I'm a lil weenie to scared to stand up to drug cartels.

      March 1, 2012 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
    • dkdk

      They still haven't dropped yet have they? You may want to go see a doctor about that.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. SDC.clark

    I don't care if they work hard or not they don't belong here I don't want them here. Most Knowledgeable Americans agree. All of them are welcome to come in legally it is not difficult to do. So read my lips get rid of illegals and keep them out.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. aviator

    Remember the couple on jet skis 2 yrs ago checking out the sunken church near the mexican side of the river (actually a wide deep 'lake' part of the river) where he was shot dead by mexican bandidtos (smugglers/coyotes)??? Had these craft been availble then he might not be another statistic.

    March 1, 2012 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Adalbertp Cervatntes-Rodriguez

    Insecurity is coming worse for mexican americans in whaever State, a have a situation in San Antonio, Texas. And i have three days that I have been attacked with eletromagnetic weapons in this hotel: 2500 Coolidge Road, San Antonio, MI 48823. I have reported to the lw enforcement without no response at all.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. jp

    Wow...talk about militarizing our police force. There's a reason why posse comitatus was enacted.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pancho villa

    Mexicans dont die, they multiply..

    March 1, 2012 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
    • jzaks

      Yea, they are a little like rabbits in that respect.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kamikaze

    It sucks that states have to protect a national border but what do you do when the Federal Government only does enough to keep the media at bay.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. alfranken

    Now were cook'n with gas. Frick'n Mexican's should start scattering now.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. jabbajaw

    2 foot of water my butt. Biggest concern now should be how to keep the machine guns from finding their way into drug cartell hands. Money has a way of talking but that ain't usually the cartel's first option anyhow. What they need down there is a fense with machine gun towers every 300 yards or so. But better yet, US should just take over Mexico and set up factories, plants and businesses down there so that them folks would rather stay there than come here. Clean out the cartels and make it a great retirement place...just like we about to do in Cuba.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. GaPeach

    Actually, they do file taxes, but they also get huge refunds because of programs such as EIC; they also use fraudulent SSN's or steal one from someone else. If an illegal goes to a public hospital, that hospital has to provide service because of federal law; meanwhile, insurance rates are going through the roof & let's not even get started on the issue of so-called "anchor babies". By all means, please do come to this country legally & all would be welcomed with open arms, but don't sneak in & expect me to have my tax dollars go to support some program that enables an illegal to not learn English or to have more rights than I do; don't expect me to be happy to see you disrespect my flag or my own culture. Don't whine about how you're being treated here when tourists who go to your country get spit on, robbed, or even worse, murdered!

    March 1, 2012 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Neal

    I am wondering how Texas can do this since that is an international river. Texas doesn't have jurisdiction in international waters, and if they fire those guns into Mexico, it is an act of war.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      Neal, Americans have already been killed in America by gun fire originating in Mexico. using your "logic" we are already at war. Our federal government is just too ignorant of the facts. All the politicians care about is making more money. They pander to the "Hispanic" vote by not enforcing the immigration laws already on the books. Like others here I am fine with legal immigration, not illegal immigration. In my youth they were call illegal aliens. The only good thing about the economic problems of the past couple of years is a slow down in the illegals coming across the border. In 1835 they lot Texas in battle. Now they are going to take it back by any means possible. The politicians need to wake up and see that we are being invaded by Mexico.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • G. Webb

      "Act of war" Thats hilarious. Like Mexicos gonna go to war with us.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
    • SirReal

      Neal,
      The river is a boundary of the US and is "owned" by us to the center of the river. We have the blessing of Mexico to operate these boats on this river and they will be assisting us in procecuting the criminals who smuggle on the river.

      Dude, why the bashing of this new interdiction tool?

      March 1, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    Now that is what I call a bass boat!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Snazzy

    I wonder how many "pleasure cruises" will be taken on this thing at the cost of Texas tax payers.

    And to all you racist out there. I would take into consideration that the ONLY reason you're in this great country of the U.S. is becasue your ancestors were IMMIGRANTS to the U.S.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • jzaks

      I would take into consideration that you do not know the difference between legal and illegal.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Snazzy

      jzaks.....considering the Native American had no laws at the time, your point is mute. And I'm confident the reason it's illegal now is becasue we're probably afraid that today's immigrants will do what we did to the Native American.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
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