The General Services Administration, the GSA, is a major federal body that supplies the physical equipment, vehicles, buildings, and legal protection of the federal American government, and this can span work ranging from environmental protection to supplying desks and offices for workers all the way to special operational equipment for police, military, and firefighting services, such as firearm optics, fire and emergency services equipment, and more. A tailored logistics support program may be provided by the GSA to whatever tactical or law enforcement group needs it, and this may include C4ISR systems. Just what are C4ISR systems? What else does the GSA provide for federal services? There is much more to learn about this particular agency.
Today, the GSA’s Security Schedule spans over 100 subcategories, which are known as Special Item Numbers, or SINs. The GSA’s Schedules program is divided; it is split into about 30 “Schedules”, or contracts, which in turn are categories by the industry they are meant for. The GSA is a big agency; in the year 2017, for example, government buyers spent a total of nearly $1.2 billion through the GSA’s Security Schedule. To name just one example, the GSA’s Buildings and Building Materials Schedule 56 Contract will provide the government with sources of industrial services and supplies, and this will include prefabricated buildings and structures when need be. Beyond that, the GSA will also exercise environmental regulation, mostly in terms of waste material provided by federal buildings and the trash generated by federal employees, and the GSA may also lease or sell many vehicles such as sedans, trucks, fire engines, jeeps, and more to various government agencies to transport people and supplies alike. Every year, the GSA will procure over 65,000 vehicles of different types, and this means over $1 billion invested in good quality vehicles and automotive services. Police and military forces will also be sold combat and law enforcement items and services, such as a tailored logistics support program, combat vests, or weapon attachments or code breakers. C4ISR systems are one particular type of service provides.
Overview of C4ISR systemsNovel Engineering, C4ISR is Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. All of these are separate services, but they often work together so combatants and their leaders can make informed decisions during operations. “Command and Control,” does not have a single strict definition, but it can be generally described as the means by which orders are formulate and given, and where decisions are made. “Communications” is also broad, but speaking generally, it is the transmission of data to and from allied parties. “Computer” is just that: the computers that make the whole of C4ISR systems possible, and in today’s highly digital world, no C4ISR system can function without computers.
“Intelligence” refers to any information that pertains to the mission, and the goals and objectives of the group carrying out that mission. “Surveillance” is any monitoring and observing work that gathers intelligence data, and the related but distinct “Reconnaissance” means sending personnel or unmanned drones to a region outside a friendly zone to gather intelligence. All together, C4ISR systems can use computers, sensors, and communications equipment to collect intelligence across land, sea, air, and cyberspace so that can be processed, analyzed, used and delivered to whoever needs it for a mission.