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. Rideitout

    Does it come with a bar?

    March 1, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. tom

    I can only read this and laugh. From 2001 to 2006 the Tpublicans had control over all 3 branches and they did NOTHING on this issue. Why do the simpletons on here blame Obama? The fact is more people have been deported under Obama than any President in history. Find another topic haters you won't go anywhere on this tangent.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • MelnColorado

      So true so true.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jacob & Tyler

    Texas should cecede from the union and turn into its own country, Bring mexico in, and then merk everybody.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Quintana Roos

    Don't they know that the waterways are different from highways??

    March 1, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Wind

    Well seems Texas is taking charge of what Washington has failed to do. Hopefully no innocent person gets hurt because of this new "war class" boat.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    Go Texas!!!!! only advice I have is USE the GUNS!!!! in the water or on the banks!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Texmex

    That's such a nice boat! Just hope the TX navy will have the authority to use force once they get into a fight with the cartels. Remember those are Mexican waters too and that could lead to a jurisdictional legal fight especially if they kill Mexican nationals on international waters.remember that cartel members age considered armed civilians no different to Syrian rebels as defined by international treaties. This could lead to a political nightmare for Texas.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. bill

    the only thing i dont understand is why the ' ' around navy...like its not a real navy or something. 6 badass riverboats sounds like a good start to a Navy to me

    March 1, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rowan A

    i'm guessing they are expecting an army of mexicans if they need 6 machine guns on each boat.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. pablo

    How do I get one of those!!!! SWEET!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Out of Texas

    I'm surprised the Texans didn't paint the boat camo, and put torpedo tubes on them. Maybe ship to surface missles too. 6 machine guns? Are you sure that's enough. So these things must have a crew of at least 10 troopers. Does Texas have a budget problem? Great way to make jobs! Wait until they hit a sand bar at 30 miles an hour! That will be great to see on YouTube!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. neil_from_Tx

    Rick perry does it and Ron paul takes credit!!! Ofcourse republican mor ons are against perry because or bush!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. a in austin

    Where do people think the money came from to purchase these boats? Wasn't Texas....

    March 1, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. glenn

    It is too late texas, it is too late to try and do anything at this point. Get ready it will all be over soon!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS NORTH OF THE BORDER AND I DON'T MEAN CANADA

    Being republican is a crime and illegal too!

    March 1, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
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