The Tigua Facility Services’ (TFS) team has become a nationwide influencer with their redesign of the Port Runner Suppression Systems (PRSS) at multiple land port of entry (LPOE) sites for our customer, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). By leveraging emerging technologies, their optimized design has become the standard for PRSS systems across their nationwide border facilities.
The PRSS systems play a vital role in CBP’s ability to regulate port movements as hundreds of thousands of travelers and materials cross America’s borders. Because the ports are active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, reducing downtime when needing repair is critical to border security.
LPOE Tornillo 2018
When TFS acquired the LPOE in Tornillo, TX, they quickly discovered that the pre-existing system was designed with parts and software that were privatized, hard to access, or unavailable, lengthening turn-around time for repairs. The TFS team strategically redesigned the systems with more open-market parts, yielding faster repair times. The team also partners with US-based vendors for more expedient lead times and technical support.
Driven to success by staying at the forefront of innovation in our industry, they also implemented the system’s software infrastructure from analog to a cutting-edge automated system. TFS General Maintenance Technician Arturo Alaniz played an integral role in implementing the new system and is still the subject-matter expert on the LPOE systems on the TX and NM borders. He strives to continually broaden his PRSS knowledge, ultimately expanding TFS’s in-house capabilities.
The team proudly demonstrated to CBP how the new system provides improved security features and long-term viability, saving time and money. The superior quality of this project set a high precedent for expansion for years to come.
LPOE Program Manager Nathan Berkley worked closely with CBP Contracting Representative Jerry Green on the project. Satisfied with the project, Green showcased the Tornillo upgrade to the US General Services Administration Agency (GSA), who oversees LPOE maintenance and construction. Berkley recalls that “they were so impressed that it led them to award us the opportunity to upgrade the San Ysidro POE in California – one of the world’s largest ports.
LPOE San Ysidro 2020
“This project brought new challenges as a complete PRSS replacement from the ground up. It was an extraordinary undertaking – our biggest project yet,” said Berkley. The core of the San Ysidro team’s success is their cumulative decades of technological, construction, and mechanical experience from the military and private industries. Our ability to retain strong talent expands our in-house capabilities, lessening the need for third-party contractors.
General Maintenance Technician Gene Deocampo has been working at San Ysidro for six years and has helped upgrade the systems and reflects: “The CBP officers out here know us by name – they put a lot of trust in us, and our TFS team also trusts each other. I’m confident I can fix any issue because I know my team will help me – I know they do their job at their best.” The project’s success was an explicit and momentous demonstration to CBP of what TFS is capable of.
LPOE San Luis 2023
TFS’s burgeoning relationship with CBP led them to award the team another design-build of a brand new LPOE PRSS system in San Luis, AZ, in partnership with Hensel Phelps. They also have been awarded three more PRSS renovations at LPOE sites in NM, CA, and TX. TFS’s relationship with CBP is strengthening and gaining momentum with numerous other project modifications and improvements across both borders.
They are standardizing the designs as they continually build PRSS systems across the country. “When we find the best tools, parts, and procedures, we mirror it across all locations,” said Quality Control Manager Abel Hernandez. “It enables us to keep a standard inventory for material readiness. We have a team spanning both borders, and with familiar systems nationwide, they can help each other interchangeably.”
Technological advancements don’t lose momentum, so neither will our team’s effort to stay at the forefront, offering breakthrough developments to CBP. PRSS Technician Tim Jones is the subject-matter expert for the west coast’s PRSS systems. He was the lead technician for San Ysidro’s PRSS system and is pushing even further in his optimizations for the San Luis project this year. “We’re presently in the design phase for San Luis and coming up with the best long-term solutions,” said Jones. “We’re confident we’ll deliver a robust and functional system that will serve CBP well for years to come.” The team is proud of their past accomplishments and ready for the future.