CBP Puts RVSS Upgrade Program on Hold

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has delayed its plans to expand a sensor system along the southwest and northern borders.

The agency tells interested vendors in a Nov. 21 announcement that “it no longer intends to release a solicitation towards the end of calendar year 2017, or at any time in the near future” for the expansion of the Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS) upgrade program.

A CBP spokesman tells HSR that the Border Patrol “is currently reviewing the requirements/strategy of the RVSS program.”

The RVSS systems consist of pole-mounted electro-optic and infrared cameras and related communications equipment located at certain areas of the southern and northern borders. The systems provide for around-the-clock wide area surveillance to help detect, track, identify and classify illegal border entries between ports of entry.

In January CBP said it was contemplating an expansion of the program throughout the entire southwest and northern borders, and followed up in May saying it planned to release a final solicitation at the end of 2017.

The expansion, when it was first announced earlier this year, was planned for the Laredo, Del Rio, Big Bend, El Paso, El Centro and San Diego sectors on the southwest border and Detroit, Buffalo, Blaine and Swanton sectors on the northern border. CBP has been upgrading RVSS systems throughout Arizona since July 2013.

The upgrade program will include stationary and relocatable locations and support vectoring of Border Patrol agents to an item of interest for resolution, and provide continuous monitoring for agent safety. The program will also provide archival data of incursions and encounters to support analysis and incident resolution, including law enforcement and judicial proceedings, CBP said in January.

General Dynamics [GD] is the prime contractor for the RVSS program. Last December the system achieved full operating capability.

Senate appropriators in their version of the FY ’18 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security propose to decrease funding for the RVSS program, citing “the inability to execute the funds for production in fiscal year 2018.” The mark doesn’t specify the funding level for RVSS.

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