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. CenTexan©

    We will welcome to to come over LEGALLY. But stop coming over illegally.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • AFBrat

      Most people who are in the USA illegally come over on a visa but stay past their time. These boats will most likely be used in drug interdiction.

      The more you know.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Torger

      LEGAL or ILLEGAL immigrants, our ancestors who developed this modern nation out of stone-age wilderness did so for their grandchildren, not anyone coming here now to take jobs away from the granchildren of the pre-1900s immigrants. I have been replaced at my places of employment by LEGAL and ILLEGAL immigrants – and I'm an Engineer !!! My ancestors lived thru harsh winters, cleared the land and created farmland, built the roads and railroads and towns and cities that enabled the 20th century progress – they did it for me and my siblings and my cousins – not for 21st century immigrants LEGAL or ILLEGAL. 1 million people have been immigrating here "LEGALLY" every year – while there is +10 million of us unemployed – including professionals like myself. Washington DC has never been this useless and the founding fathers never imagined it would be capable of such absolute incompetance and idiocity.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. The Woof

    It sounds good and may do some good but what happens when the shooting begins? The cartels aren't just some lightly armed street punks! I lived in Del Rio, Texas for three years and I've seen the Rio at times being almost ankle wadding low. Good luck in trying to traverse water that low. But all the same I wish the troopers well in their mission and pray that no lives are lost in the future.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Judge

    Republican Space Rangers to the rescue!

    March 1, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richie

      So your saying it's ok to break the law? Dum Dem.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texmex

      Yep, this kind of response is putting our missionaries in harms way, what will happen to them who are working in cartel controlled gettos along the Mexican border this boats won't protect them, what if the cartels hurt them as a response to the bullies.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    CNN should do some research. This is the Texas Department of Public Safety, not the Texas Navy, which is another military body.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ExPatTexan

      And they don't go by the Texas Highway Patrol, it's the DPS.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fxchopper

    May god bless and keep those troopers that gave everything

    March 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    First of all this is not the TX Navy as the headlines say this is clearly marked as the TX hwy patrol. Yes the are not on the HWY but neither are the when they are in Helicopters any question on this read the mission statement of The Texas Hwy Patrol CNN get it right really Texas Navy?

    March 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom

    First of all this is not the TX Navy as the headlines say this is clearly marked as the TX hwy patrol. Yes the are not on the HWY but neither are the when they are in Helicopters any question on this read the mission statement of The Texas Patrol

    March 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RB

    Why does a boat say Highway Patrol?
    Anyone have an idea of what the cost per boat is? Police and firemen are bankrupting municipalities everywhere, this is an outlandish display of wasted money.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    Several states have Naval militias to this day, and many more had them in the past, including Texas. Also, State and local law enforcement have had boats, even armed gunboats, since... there have been local and state law enforcement agencies. Just about any County Sheriff that has large lakes or coastlines to patrol has a marine unit. NYPD and LAPD, for instance, also has boats and some are armed. In fact, most major cities, with access to water, have some type of unit like this. While they might not be as heavily armed as these new Texas boats, they've been around for a long time, doing everything from drug interdiction, to keeping drunk, week-end boaters in line.

    This is not a comment on the state of the Coast Guard or Navy, or any sort of indictment of the Obama administration. It also is not a power grab by Texas' state government into the domain of the Feds. It's really not a big deal, but some hillbillies jump at anything to trash the President or "illegal" aliens.

    March 1, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Larry

    Too cool for words. I want one! :-)))

    March 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Larry

    FRHarry - If you're going to bring up usurption of land, then you need to mention ALL the Europeans who came to the Americas and practiced genocide on the various American Indian peoples to take over the entire continent. To do anything less is to be a hypocrite.

    March 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Durundal

    hahaha this is awesome. With a nation screaming about debt and deficits, another dumb texan gets a gun...

    March 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tall Texan

      Some of these responders must be dopers! Go get em Texas Navy.

      March 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      I'd rather see my tax dollars going to fight illegal immigration than to another drug user on welfare, wouldn't you?

      March 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      Wow Such an intelligent statement. I can see that your degree in basket weaving is doing wonders for your world outlook. First off it's a boat not a gun, second if you were referencing weapon systems the guys operating those "guns" already have one and third if the Border Patrol would be allowed to actually patrol and arrest people this kinda media stunt would not be necessary...Really 6 boats come on at least teh guys the federal govt hires to ride horses up and dow the border can pretend to be Cowboys!!

      March 2, 2012 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh in Austin

      Think 6 boats are too many? Do you realize just how BIG Texas is? Only 3 will be patrolling the Rio Grande. The balance will be patrolling the inter coastal waterway between South Padre Island and the mainland. Shoot, we could use 3 just in Falcon Lake alone!!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. canalzone

    Many of you posters here stand against Israel at your peril. If you're Godless, then you wouldn't know what God Almighty said about the fate of Israel's enemies-and that is what you are; in the End Times. And, OBTW- we're there.

    Israel is surrounded on every side by several factions that want that State destroyed and foaming at the mouth with rage to do the job. How can you possibly blame the Israeli's for wanting to protect their homeland and themselves. You guys have really been slugging down the progressive Propaganda Kool-Aid!

    March 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • woody

      To hell with Israel. The Jewish Only state protects her borders rather effectively, with sufficient support from American taxpayers, while Jewish groups join with the reconquista movement demanding that border protection is a racists "last grasp of the white man" desperation. Support North America as a caucasian nation and I'll support Israel as a Jewish nation.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. outawork

    By coincidence the Mexican cartels get their first shipment of anti-ship missiles next week.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • LJ Burgess

      I wish I had thought to say that first!

      March 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jake

    Finally someone with backbone!!!! Go TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martha

      Amen? You said it all. Good for Texas.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
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