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. nobody

    Nice funding grab/publicity stunt. There's a good chance this boat will never get within 100 miles of the Rio Grande, unless it's on a trailer for a parade.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. angel611

    I bet the Surpreme dictators stop the boats before they even hit water.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • willard

      Sad but true. This is a very good thing but this administration will never allow the future democrats to get here.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • willard

      lol – i mean they will never allow them (TX) to STOP future democrats from getting here! They railroaded AZ and will also railroad TX.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • bwhitten

      I see the nut jobs are out. You know, the ones that spout all sorts of nonsense and can't read. Especially the part where it was cooperating with U.S Customs and Border Patrol which implies agreement from the executive branch. Or can't "ya'll" comprehend that.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke5343

      I Hope he does and the liberal media reports it & gas hits $6 per gallon in Nov- by by Kenyan

      March 1, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      bwhitten: I wouldn't say crazy. Texas isn't exactly known for its robust education system.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      bwhit and derp, you know nothing about Texas' education system. If you did, you would know that in major metropolitain areas the State ranks well, but along the border, the education system is jacked by a indigent culture and that's why the numbers look like they do. Not only that, bhitt, but your own sentence phrasing sucks. Don't you think you should have said, 'the part that says Texas is cooperating," instead of, "part it was cooperating" ? good job....

      March 1, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tony

    So many questions here. A) Where does a debt-ridden state, and alleged fiscal conservative like Rick Perry, find the money for things like this? B) How obvious of a failure is the US Coast Guard that states need to do their job for them? C) How do racist traitors afford computers and get onto this message board?

    March 1, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      The U.S. Coast Guard doesn't have anyone stationed on the Rio Grande because it doesn't have the money, people or vessels it needs to do so. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard has just been told it's not getting the money for two brand new cutters – which are needed to replace the ones that are over 40 years old and in constant repair – by the current administration.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Tony, you have no clue on what you are talking about. This is not the USCG jusidiction. They patrol the all navigatable waters – i.e. Major rivers, gulf, ocean and intercoastal waterway. It is uninformed people as yourself who tend to spread false information either by design or out of ignorance that the left takes as their TRUTH...Which almost always in not a FACT

      March 1, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • HighflyinHurc

      Go back to flippin burgers Tony! If you had any idea what the U.S. Coast Guard does you wouldn't be posting idiotic remarks like the one you have posted. The U.S. Coast Guard is a group of about 45,000 men and women who save lifes around the world. We have more missions (Jobs) then any other branch or service and we do it with less people, less money, less resources then any other service. No, we can not be everywhere all the time, but when we are we make the difference. So, if you want to make a difference then do it STOP HIDING IN YOUR MAMA'S BASEMENT! There is nothing worse then people like you and i'm guessing your that 99% who complain about everything and do nothing to help yourself or the country. Just do something with your life and stop being such a sponge!!!!

      March 1, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Anyone can be President.

      How do racist traitors afford computers and get onto this message board?

      They sell drugs, of course!

      March 1, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Deport Pedro

      Hey Tony – I'll bet you last name is probably Sanchez or something like that, eh?

      March 1, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. MM

    I unfortunately live in Texas. Clearly most of the people writing comments here do not. The state is cutting massive dollars from education, cannot keep up with their portion of road maintenance, have paid millions of dollars for Perry's security during his Presidential lark and now is buying attack boats for a river that you can walk across in many places? "Don't mess with Texas" should be "Don't Mess with Texas... they have special needs".

    March 1, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • tedt

      Should be don't mess with texas their messed up enough

      March 1, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      The Big problem I see is that I would assume like most border rivers that Mexico "owns half of this river
      ( think of the Colorado river) if this gunboat shoots someone on the mexico side. we now have a US patrol killing on Mexican waters

      March 1, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • PerryJazz

      If Texas can stop the illegals from entering their state, they would have more money to spend on education and social services for citizens instead of providing healthcare and social services for people who don't belong there or having more "anchor babies." It called "prevention" – something a vast majority of teen-mommies and "future" welfare recipients don't really understand.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Darth Cheney

      Bob, I would argue that Texas wants this so they can create an incident – Tonkin style like the one manufactured by another Texan – and try to force the US government's hand into open warfare with Mexico, preferably a few weeks before the election. If this isn't their actual goal, it's a desirable contingency for them.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonsie

      Maybe you should move somewhere else – or did you come down to get a job?

      March 1, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      MM, unfortunately you are still in Texas. No one is keeping you here.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. cantoxiv

    This is another homeland security boondoggle. If the boats draw 2 feet of water they'll only be used when the river is high (as in too swift to cross), and that will be rare because the river's flow has been diverted for agriculture. This mighty river frequently fails to reach the gulf of mexico. Dune buggies would work better.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nick A

    Oh God. So The Texas Highway Patrol has received some gunboats and we're going to call it The Texas Navy? Yeah that's not going to go to the Texas Citizens' heads. They already think that Texas is still it's own country. Now we are going to say they have a pretend Navy to boot. Great, I'm looking forward to my next trip to Texas.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Obviously, the 'navy' remark was created by a headliner. There is no offical name, 'The Texas Navy'. This just shows how everyone over reacts and exaggerates everything Texas does.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. steveb

    Texas has a complex

    March 1, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. leeintulsa

    prices are low because of cheap labor. why are green beans 42 cents a can? because the pickers get 25 cents a bushel. if they got min wage and insurance, where anyone else might do it, beans would be $5 a can.

    alabama passed tougher immigration laws and farmers have no one to work in the fields.

    we really are shooting ourselves in the foot..

    March 1, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    Nice fuel efficient gun boat!! Might have to cut more money from your schools to fuel these things. If you don't want to get wet, put on some wadders and chase them down. Texas you need some serious help.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      You don't understand Texas' economy or politics, at all.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      In fact, your comment is disgraceful at best. You are obviously unaware the reality and complexity of drug smuggling along the border. Most outfits are well armed beyond what basic border patrol agents have. They made the boats bullet proof for a reason.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jack Wagon

    I think it will be hilarious to watch the YouTube video of one of these duck boats blown out of the water by a Mexican gang with RPG's. When is the inaugural ride for Rick "Sippy Cup" Perry?

    March 1, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron


      March 1, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Most who come here are just trying to better their lives , cant blame 'em, but during war time, our borders MUST be secure.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Anyone can be President.

      Can't blame someone for wanting to better their life.

      But I do blame those who employ the ones who take short cuts and end up virtual slaves to our greediest citizens.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. ryvan

    If Texas doesn't want me to mess with it, then it shouldn't make itself such an easy target. It's like the Lindsey Lohan of US states.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Face it, the US economy wouldn't exist right now without Texas. The State has the 10th largest economy in the world – larger than most other countries' economy. You shouldn't bite the hand that is feeding you...

      March 1, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Absit Invidia

    I cannot wait to see the Texas Aircraft Carrier .........

    March 1, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. John Spurlock

    I'm a fourth generation Texan, and I think it's sad that Texas has to defend US borders, because the coward in the Oval Office won't do it. Or does he just like foreigners because he is one?

    March 1, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. jimatmad

    Just another reason to laugh at Texas.

    The long-term plan to make her citizens stupider is working like a charm.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
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