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. jimatmad

    Just another reason to laugh at Texas.

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

    March 1, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      "stupider" ? .... enough said

      March 1, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. Anyone can be President.

    Patrolling the Border makes more sense than building a wall above the tunnels.

    Patrolling the Border makes a lot more sense than fighting foreign wars.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Burt

      ITT, a bunch of Yankees who wouldn't know a Zeta from a taco.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Jt_flyer

      I agree.

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

      The object is to prevent, not kill!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. David

    Instead the army and marines should have their sniper training on the river. This way they can get practice on live targets. A few weeks problem solved.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Vince

    What a waste of resources.

    March 1, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      What makes it a waste? You must be a cartel member.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      ...and you must not live in Texas.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      Vince, I'm sorry, but you're wrong.

      I think it's a little excessive for our state police to have such a heavily-armed vessel, because it gives a shoot-first mentality...but there absolutely is a need for an armed presence on the Rio Grande, particularly in the Big Bend National Park area.

      That is the #1 area for drug smuggling in the entire nation, due to the lack of civilization in the area, the ruggedness of the terrain, and, most importantly, because of the river.

      Again, I think it's a task better suited for Customs/Border Patrol/ICE, or maybe even the Coast Guard, but it's not a waste of resources.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Mississippi Armadillo

      Vince, not to be rude but you are a prime example of what is wrong with this great country.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Granger

    Mexicans are some of the hardest working people around! They work long, long hours for so little pay and they DO pay their taxes so that YOU can enjoy many of the benefits you have! Another fact: They do the work you and other lazy people like you don't want to do! They build your homes, take care of your gardens, prepare your meals, take care of your kids and elderly relatives, pick the vegetables with which to fix your meals, are very adept at doing handiwork your lazy butt refuses to do, and they believe in becoming well educated to help This Country when they graduate! In fact, they do whatever work you don't want to do for a wage that is lower than your shame for even bringing up that they don't work and don't deserve anything!

    March 1, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      And I admire and respect that.....as long as you don't SNEAK across the border.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Anyone can be President.

      They do the work that Greedy Americans do not want to pay a living wage for.

      Might be your job next.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • ghittsum

      I'd like to see any farmer hire me to pick food at minimum wage. Hiring migrant workers at substandard wages are one way to cut costs. Perhaps there are those of us that would be too lazy to do it, but the real reason is that if any of us picked food for a living, food prices would soar and those of us picking the food wouldn't be making enough to survive.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Palustris

      Those Mexicans are not the problem. Most will agree with that. The "Navy" is after the criminal drug smugglers. BIG difference.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • JJLamb

      The biggest problem is not the illegal workers coming across. My ancestors were illegal aliens, too. First invading Ireland, then sneaking into Scotland, then pushing their way into Iriquois land. The problem is the super-violent drug smugglers and cartel enforcers crossing almost at will. Of course, if we stop buying their drugs, they'll stop coming, but that's another debate for another time.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • chefdugan

      All of what you say might be true. What is also true is that Mexicans are changing our culture and not for the better. The idea is to control the number, otherwise, they breed like rabbits and will eventually take over. Don't believe me" Look at California. Texas has the right idea. If they get their feet wet shoot them.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Come here LEGALLY and learn to SPEAK the language. Otherwise, MY tax dollars pay for YOUR healthcare and my resentment is aimed at YOU. And by the way, most of your points are geared toward the illegal immigrants. They work hard and keep their heads down for fear of being DEPORTED.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Their Mouthpiece

      chefdugan is obviously the pathetic and prejudiced mouthpiece of many Republicans and their party! That is yet another GREAT reminder to Vote Democratic! Obama/Biden 2012 for parity to all hard-working Latinos, Hispanics, and others!!

      March 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mac

    Way to go Texas, you still know how to handle the bad guys. Should have taken this step a long time ago but
    like everything else regarding the Border Wars people in Washington just turn there heads...

    March 1, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • a in austin

      Who do you think purchased these boats for the state of Texas?

      March 1, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |

      Well "a in austin", your misguided messiah did not provide any funding for this effort. DPS used siezed assetts to purchase these boats so it did not cost the American taxpayer a dime, but each boat is costing the cartels $3 million. The reason your messiah's attorney general would not provide funding is because this effort by DPS does not promote class warfare, will probably hinder illegals from crossing, and did not provide any kick-backs to any unions.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Mississippi Armadillo

      Re: a in austin, there's probably more money in the state of Texas than th U.S. gubment has.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Marci Arnold

    Will this boat float in the Rio Grande?? Seems like they need an air boat...that looks like a gulf boat.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Mississippi Armadillo

      You need to read the article again and try to comprehend what you read. It says the craft will work in as little as two feet of water.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      The Rio Grande is plenty deep for a 2-foot boat to operate, particularly in the Big Bend area (which is probably where they'll be focused, since that's the #1 drug smuggling area in the nation).

      March 1, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Genie

    God bless the United States of Texas!!

    March 1, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • JJLamb

      That should be "God Bless the Republic of Texas" and yes, I agree.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • The Difference

      Correction Genie. Texas is not part of the United States anymore it is a separate country!

      March 1, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dancingjellyfish

    it seems this boat is more for stopping the drug smuggling than the illegal aliens but many people trying to cross the river die in the current. This boat may actually save some of them. Guess that's counterintuitive/productive to the racists posting on here. Those Mexican cartels are scary as all hell. The more we do to keep them and their violence out of the US the better!

    March 1, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Exactly! Good post.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. TriXen

    Don't mess with Texas! Amen.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Estaben

    Kinda funny really as more than half of the rio bravo del norte often called the rio grande does not have two feet of water in it! For the price of one of those boats they could have hired unemployed river guides to take canoes and moterized rafts down that muddy creek for a year and patrol the WHOLE river.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      River guides in canoes? That sounds like a real deterrent to the Zetas and their assault rifles/grenades. (sarcasm) I guess they could then call in law enforcement and hope the bad guys stay put.
      In response to another comment above: America is partly Hispanic. It's partly white and partly black etc.. No one is trying to rid the US of hardworking Hispanics ....God forbid what a disaster that would be (no HARD workers). We are just trying to stop the flow of ILLEGAL folks who do not pay taxes, but use our resources : police , fire, hospital, and much more without paying for it.
      (though it is hard to make that argument when 50% of legal Americans don't pay taxes. ).

      March 1, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Mississippi Armadillo

      Re: Scott, you hit the nail on the head.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Frank Little

    These boats seem to be a pretty impressive show of force, way to go Texas. However, my thoughts on this whole border patrol fighting violence with violence seems ridiculous. I know some yay-hoo is going to go off and say they are killing maybe even use the verb slaughtering our people. It's a sad situation but taking this approach is not the best in my eyes. We have the technology to sever the heads of the snakes. We can find these king pins and chaos will trickle down. There are many sad things happening in our world today. Seeing these high powered, expensive, death-dealing boats does not help. I am going to be cliche "Why can't we all just get along."

    March 1, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |

    Here's a solution to illegal border crossing by Mexicans...What if we were to make Mexico an American commonwealth? Sort of like the 51st US state with benefits like the other 50 states!!! Then perhaps there would be no need for Mexicans to cross the boarder illegally as they would have access to the same resources and opportunities as the other 50 states!

    And since we just can't seem to beat the Mexican national soccer team, perhaps we could make them our national soccer team and with the first class facilities we have here, perhaps we could finally bring home the coveted Cup to the US! Furthermore, with Mexico being a commonwealth, perhaps they can teach all of us how to speak fluent Spanish! What do you say Uncle Sam?

    March 1, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      makes no difference if the culture doesn't change, if there are still currupt businesses and government.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • chefdugan

      Take a close look at Puerto Rico and what those people did to New York and then tell me about their huddled masses.

      March 1, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • ES

      It would be good but the Mexico would have to give up its independence. There is no way Mexican elite will agree to that. Who else they are going to rob then for their livelihoods?

      March 1, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. Common Sense

    I don’t blame them. It’s a matter of security and public safety. Every other nation secures their borders. Why don’t we?

    March 1, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. DennisnDallas

    This gives real meaning to the phrase "Don't Mess With Texas"!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
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