The GSA, or the Ge4neral Services administration, is a large business entity that provides many different services, equipment, and assistance to all manner of government-sponsored or controlled agencies, from managing historical buildings to controlling pollution and wildlife damage from government activities to supplying items to police, fire fighters, the military, and more. Special operational equipment is common for those latter agencies, and they may need such items as tear gas grenades, helmets, firearm optics, and more. More peaceful equipment is also available, from office desks to supply trucks. What does the GSA do on a typical day of business?
The GSA Overall
From handling firearm optics to jeeps and filing cabinets, the GSA has a wide variety of services and items to sell to different government agencies across the nation. Overall, the GSA Schedules program is divided into around 30 separate “schedules”, or contracts, that are also categorized by the industry that they are needed for, whether firearm optics and equipment for military squads to river cleanup. Also, the GSA’s Security Schedule contains over 100 subcategories, and these are known as Special Item Numbers, or SINs. This is a busy department; in 2017’s fiscal year, government buyers together spent around $1.2 billion through the GSA Security Schedule. What else can the GSA do?
Some of the GSA’s work is in fact mundane; it often supplies office buildings, transport trucks, and office supplies such as desks or filing cabinets for government work, and it also helps maintain historical buildings and run operations in them. Protecting wildlife and the environment from government work is another concern for the GSA, making sure that problems like toxic runoff, accidental fires, and more are prevented as government work goes about its day.
The GSA’s work often supplies crews who operate in dangerous conditions, such as police officers, firefighters, and military personnel. Firearm optics may be sold to the police or military units, and besides firearm optics, buyers may also acquire bulletproof vests, ammunition, or communication gear. Jeeps, police cars, fire engines, and more are also on the market for these agencies. Firefighting equipment like water hoses, axes, or ladders may be procured, and a tailored logistics support program will ensure that the right materials reach the correct recipients as needed. In the case of the military or other emergency services, C4ISR services may also be available.
According to Novel Engineering, C4ISR is an acronym for Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. Each of these components in C4ISR systems has in important role to play in the military and similar organizations.
Command and Control, for example, is a general term for when authority is exercised in a given environment to make progress in a mission; in short, it is who makes the decisions and gives orders, and the exact roles played or the ranks may differ from one situation or military branch to another. Communications is a similarly broad term, describing any act of transmitting data from one friendly source to another, and Computer describes the actual computers used for all 21st century C4ISR work, and such labor can be a sort of arms race, meaning that no agency can afford to operate without computers.
Intelligence, meanwhile, is any information that is relevant to the mission and describes the goals and objectives of any operation being undertaken. Surveillance, meanwhile, is the act of gathering intelligence by observing activities and behavior, and can be accomplished via video or audio monitoring, intercepting transmissions, or human intelligence gathering. Finally, Reconnaissance is the act of sending personnel or remotely operated machinery like drones to areas outside friendly control in order to gather intelligence. This sets it apart from surveillance. And overall, the GSA can provide all sorts of hardware so that modern American agencies can carry out C4ISR to the best of their ability.