WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss) today reported that the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg has been awarded a new contract to continue developing a tunnel detection system along U.S. borders.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has entered into an interagency agreement giving ERDC the responsibility of developing a Persistent Surveillance and Detection Program (PSDP) system to improve tunnel detection capabilities.
“Some of the best scientific minds at ERDC are working with the Homeland Security Department to find and stop tunnels under our borders. These illicit passageways threaten our national security as cartels and criminals try to smuggle drugs and other illegal contraband into our country,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.
CBP awarded ERDC a $17.8 million contract, with a potential $26.7 million total value, to build, install, calibrate, test, and maintain a PDSP system. The contract calls on ERDC to give the CBP a greater ability to detect the presence of suspected tunnels, tunneling activities, and tunnel use in border regions. It would also give CBP information on the underground trajectory of a detected tunnel from its opening in Mexico or Canada to exit points within the United States.
The detection and location of clandestine tunnels is an ongoing CBP mission to safeguard the nation.