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. fandancy

    Is that the SS RICK PERRY?

    March 4, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Gale

    I think these are great, but Border Patrol men have been put in prison for firing at Drug cartels (remember?)
    I don't under stand why we are not in a full blown war against Mexico. WWI and WWII were started over one person getting killed from someone from another country.
    The money they spent on these boats they could have put up a CEMENT wall with razor wire like the wall of Berlin, with guards. We still need to do that!

    March 4, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Sleepyinsf

      Wow, I actually feel dumber for reading this. By the way, idi0t, WW2 was not started by someone getting killed, and WW1 began because an Arch duke was killed (not some rancher), though it was really about colonialism. Also, in case you haven't heard, Mexico is currently fighting its own war, if anything, we should be helping them. What a dumb redneck. I pity you.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      Gale....Don't forget your Adderall next time!

      March 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • RalphK

      Absolutely! And armed with guns that shoot real bullets not bean bags, with the orders to shoot back ! !

      July 6, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      @ Gale oh and one last thing it is Texas Ranger/Troopers manning these boats NOT border Patrol/ ICE agents.
      The feds have zero to do with this it is all Texas doing it.
      Wonder when the feds will sue Texas because they are doing what the feds are supposed to be doing?

      July 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. blondief

    Ray, We are not letting the wetbacks in. It is your liberal leaders in the federal government fighting us at every turn in our efforts to protct our state. You damn Yankees don't have a clue. And no, we ain't scared. We Texas citizens are trying to obey the law ourselves but we are getting tired of the wetbacks and there will soon be a day of reconning.

    March 4, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • mariosphere

      Do you call this "navy"? Ridiculous. I hope Arpaio goes to jail. Oh, wait...he's from AZ, not TX.

      March 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jerry

    Hi, I'm in high school (in Texas) and i was just wondering why can we fund mini battle ships to "protct our state" and our "livelihoods", but we can not fund schools and the subsequent activities related tot them to better our citizens, our future workers, our future leaders?

    March 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigJoe

      According to my recent property tax bill, it appears "WE" (I no longer have kids in school) pay plenty to educate you vacuumheads. As I recall, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't maake him drink.. BTW I have two of four with degrees and they worked, borrowed money, and we helped. You might want to have a talk with Mom and Dad ( even in highschool)

      March 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Gale, you are extremely un-informed. A state cannot erect a wall, but can patrol waters within the state and its coastal areas. And, just as Sleepyinsf has shown, you need to study your history.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • FJB

      Millions of dollars are spent on education and schools. Way more than on these boats. But what good is school and education if you are attacked by drug lords entering your town, getting the youth hooked on drugs and killing people in the street. I say Hooray for Texas for standing up for their rights and the safety of their citizens. If the Federal Government wasn't taken over by the current Socialist, green agenda weenies, they should be doing this for TEXAS since this is an inter\national border.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Laton Bowles

      In Texas we have good colleges....it is just unfortunate that many of our public school systems (like Dallas ISD) are run by corrupt liberals who "solve" problems by firing teachers...and not cutting their own numbers in the administrative jobs where the taxpayer dollars are wasted. Also, ALL school systems in the US are performing poorly overall. They just point at Texas because there are many ways that Texas is succesful in ways that the liberals say shouldn't be able to happen. For example, we have money saved up...we actually continued growing in mulitple economic sectors through the recession. Despite the EPA trying to attack the oil buisness at the same time (like requiring them to make a fuel that doesn't exist) Then you have California who lost 1.6 million of its population from them simply leaving... because their people couldn't afford the taxes with the low pay and high cost of living. Texas balances things out...and more importantly gives everyone the freedom to succeed or fail based on their own merit.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      We spend over $4,000 a student now.
      Back in the 60's and 70's the amount was in the hundreds not thousands.
      Y'all want more and more money thrown at the problem and it hasnt helped in 5 decades.

      July 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wb

    Oh yeah, like nobody will be able to see these big new expensive toys for boys coming down the river from miles away. The illegals will simply hide in the bushes until they go by, and we'll be regularly replacing these things and the men in them as they become sitting ducks for the drug cartels.

    March 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Are you referring to the bushes that are sitting all over the lake? Geez . . . .

      March 8, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. bill

    Great they put gun boats there.. do we get Helicopters for the Canadian Boarder?

    March 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Geoff

    Expensive,wasteful and inneficient testicular gestures likie this will not stop the flow of illegal immigrants. Tough vigouraously enforced sanction including prison time for people who employ illegals will but taht would involve

    March 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Shooting at them would help.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. letgoofmyears

    Our forefathers and mothers came to this country because they were seeking a better life for themselves. Who are we to now tell someone else that they can't do the same thing? That's a bit arrogant on our part, dont'cha think? As long as they aren't smuggling anything illegal into the country, I don't see why we would want to stop them. Your tax dollars aren't going to feed them or house them.

    I'm Caucasian, but I'm proud to call several Mexicans living in this country my friends. Some are here legally, and some maybe not so much, but you will NEVER find a group of people that work harder, for so little money. They only come here to make a better life for their families. Their only crime, according to some of you people, was being born too far south.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      letgoofmyears - My forefathers came over - legally and without killing someone or bringing drugs with them - and took time to learn English. I'm just the third generation to be born in the U.S. My girlfriend is the first generation to be born in the U.S.; her mom and grandparents learned English. If someone wants to come over legally, we have bridges across the river. If they want to sneak in by other means, they are breaking the law and are therefore criminals.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • CITGAB

      We get to make the rules because it is OUR country. If we want to admit no one or everyone it is OUR decision. Try entering Mecico illegally and taking a job THERE and see how sympathetic THEY are.

      And we will not starve. If we need farm workers we can authorize their LEGAL entry. Most of the illegals here are not doing farm work. If they were they would be going home in the winter.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      letgoogmyears, Who are we to tell someone else they "can't do the same thing"? The people who own this country that's who, and it's not the least bit arrogant to expect people to obey our laws, immigration and otherwise. And as far as the illegals themselves, most are in fact coming here to better themselves, however many of them are forced / coerced to carry drugs when they come. I don't blame them for wanting to come here if bettering themselves is their goal but they need to do it according to our laws. Also I have a question for you. There are hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people living in rat hole third world countries. Just how many do we let in, give me a number? While it would be wonderful if everyone could enjoy our standard of living, if we just open the doors to everyone at some point the U.S. wouldn't be worth coming to. It wouldn't be any better than the places they came from.

      May 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. I Hate Texas

    Great. Give these rednecks boats with guns on them. Let the body count begin. I'm sure there's a beer cooler on board as well.

    March 8, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Awesome. Stay out of our state. We'll protect the border for you and shield you from the reality of life.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      I guess it's a good thing you don't live here then. Why don't you go buy some property on the border, live there a few years, then get back to us.

      May 30, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dominique

    Since when is the Rio Grande a HIGHWAY???

    March 9, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mom in Texas

      Dominique- The waterways were the first "highways".
      The article states the boats are for drug intervention. It says nothing about killing illegal immigrants.
      And YES the illegal immigrants are affecting our economy, from taking jobs that we could be in, to filling up our hospitals, schools, jails, and housing, and not paying into the system.
      On the flip side, I have worked with many illegals who are excellently behaved (although many of their kin are not). It was not easy for our employer to have to "let them go" from jobs that they did well, once their "papers" were found to be false.
      They are people, folks. Let's not treat them like slaves, and let them not act like criminals but come here legally.

      July 29, 2012 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. RonL

    Close our borders and deport all illegals. Let their country take care of them.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RonL

    Close our borders. Deport all illegals. Let their country take care of them.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ben

    these boats are way to big for the river for one.....theyre gonna get stuck in the shallow areas unless theyre closer to falcon dam. 2. why did they add mud tires to the trailer?

    March 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
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