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. elgatoblanco

    Lol armor plating and six machine guns. What a joke and what a waste of taxpayer money. Border patrol must be naive if they think their boats with their excessive armaments are going to have a significant effect on illegal immigration.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Drugs are the aim....and what's the solution? They're trying, at least...do you live in Texas?
      Then it's costing you a thing.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      PS: Meow. 😉

      February 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Hey White Cat,
      Did you notice this was the Texas Highway Patrol, not CBP or ICE?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chach

      i dont think its aimed at the imigrants gato, i think its more for the drug smugglers that shoot back and the cartels

      February 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality Checker

      It's not the border patrol that is putting these on the water, it's the state of Texas.

      Texas is overstepping into federal jurisdiction. I'm not saying it's necessarily good or bad, just not in their authority. Kind of like if Texas declared war on another country and assembled troops for that effort.

      And I've heard enough of the macho stuff about Texas. It's sounds like a bunch of immature teenagers talking about how tough their Dad is.

      February 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Really, why is this a waste? And i would not call it a joke. As for guns and plating, which part of heavily armed cartels don't you grasp?

      February 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality Check

      "excessive armament"??!? Really? Have you seen the firepower the drug dealers have? Heck, they are giving machine guns to 10 year old kids to kill people with, what do you think the adults carry? I'd be willing to bet that one of these boats could come up against some drug dealers and actually be out-gunned. I think they should add a couple grenade launchers for good measure.

      Since our useless federal government can't stem the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants into our country, the states have to take things into their own hands. More power to Texas!

      February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Attila, The Hun

      Only in the minds of law enforcement who's thinking are akin to the military Just more toys for immature adults who would otherwise be in jail if not for hiding behind a badge.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheThinker

      I've got to agree. The "war on drugs" is history's most wasteful jobs program. Let the dope-heads buy their stupid-pills where they can be regulated and taxed. I'm all in favor of taxing stupidity.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Ambilify is mainly prescribed for bi-polar disorder…not for everyday situational depression.

    That’s ok, I get what you’re trying to say, and whose cult glass you’re drinking from.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sojourner Truth

    Maybe you can get the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to man the gunboats. Apparently Texans can't defend beaches or the shore.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ananomous

    Yes... 6 boats will be able to effectively patrol 900 miles of river. This will surely be a big blow to the mexican cartels.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JJ


    February 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dick Hertz

    They'd have all the volunteers on the Border they need if they'd only let us shoot. You can be the biggest dog in the world? Without teeth? You're nothing.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. whiteisright

    Call it the rat patrol? Burrito boat? Flauta flotilla?

    Get them greasers!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Evskie

    It should be our military and not the state of Texas footing this bill. Also it should be to stop ilegal immigration more than drugs and maryjane should be legalised to help get funds out of drug cartel pockets.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ron

    Texass...south till ya smell it, then west till ya step in it.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Come on down Ron. We'll be happy to meet ya!.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Greek American

    Is the River Walk located on the Rio Grande? Hahahahaha

    February 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. idiocracy

    That's it, it's settled. Moving to Texas. Crazy to think there is a state out there that the "progressive" movement has yet to chop off their balls....

    February 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jason Kendle

    That is an awesome boat! In California we call that a ski boat with guns!
    Texas Highway Patrol waterskiing the Rio Grande in style!
    I bet the machine guns never get to be fired though!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey

    This is awesome! To those who complain about the tax dollars, the Texas Highway Patrol has a set budget that they will spend anyways. Why not spend it where they are obviously at their weakest! Great idea and no I am not from Texas.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Guero

    Oh great. Now Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Dakota and the likes will want their own navy too.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey

    Texas Navy, LOLOLOLOL I love it!

    February 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2tor

      It's more than your President's done!

      February 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken in MD

      If you're an American, he's YOUR President, too.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • ljiggle

      2tor – do you not live in the US? Or are you just some random person that thinks just because he doesn't necessarily agree w/ the POTUS, that you're now somehow exempt from following him. It doesn't matter if you don't like him or not – RESPECT THE OFFICE AND RESPECT THE COUNTRY. I'm so sick of all of you people who sit here and think that because you either didn't vote for him or don't agree w/ him, that you can somehow DISRESPECT THE POTUS. You people are truly un-american...

      February 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
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