What the GSA’s Schedules Can Do


The General Services Administration, or the GSA, is a major federal government agency that is responsible for providing all sorts of materials, supplies, services, and more to various government agencies ranging from office building workers all the way to the military, police, firefighters, and those who work with historical American buildings. The GSA has all kinds of Schedules for organizing its operations, and some may focus on providing C4ISR systems to the military or police, or providing fire and emergency services equipment and training. The GSA can also handle more mundane, but no less important work such as the GSA 56 Schedule. What does the GSA 56 Schedule do? What is C4ISR? Those new to the workings of the GSA may find a sprawling industry of federal employees who work their hardest to keep everything running.

GSA Basics

In short, the GSA is a large agency that is split up into Schedules to organize how it works. In particular, the GSA Schedules program is broken down into about 30 “schedules,” which are contracts organized by various industries. For one, the GSA’s Security Schedule is in turn broken up into over 100 subcategories, which are known as Special Item Numbers, or SINs. Meanwhile, GSA 56 Schedule is responsible for contracting industrial services and supplies, and prefabricated structures, for the American federal government. Another service of the GSA is to procure many vehicles for government work, from sedans to trucks and jeeps, and it obtains nearly 65,000 of them per year, which totals up to $1 billion or so in high-quality vehicles and other automotive services. And there is more.

Different GSA Schedules

GSA 56, according to the GSA, can handle the federal government’s need for complete buildings, building materials, and industrial products and services alike. GSA 56 may also handle warehouse supplies, air and water purification products, and even power-distribution equipment, making GSA 56 central to the building and materialistic needs of the federal government. Other SINs for GSA 56 may include alternative energy solutions and energy saving building supplies, among others.

Firefighter crews, police stations, and armed response teams also make use of the GSA’s various schedules for their needs. Fire equipment government contracts make sure that firefighters have the hoses, uniforms, trucks, oxygen tanks, and anything else that they need to carry out firefighting and rescue operations, and this will also include the fire-suppressing and fire alarm systems in federal buildings such as smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, and alarms for when a fire is confirmed, and all this can save lives. The police and armed response units, meanwhile, can get special operational equipment and tactical equipment through their GSA contracts, ranging from bulletproof vests and personal communication gear to handguns, laser sights, flash-bang grenades, and anything else needed for their dangerous work. They may also obtain vehicles such as police cruisers, jeeps, armored vans, and anything else required.

C4ISR systems, meanwhile, can also be provided through a GSA contract, and that stands for Command and Control, Computer, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. These services are often used by the military and other armed groups in the United States. Command and Control is a broad term for where the authority is in a mission and who gives the orders, and Computer describes the actual computers and their software that make C4ISR in the modern age possible. Without powerful and competitive computers and software, various agencies could easily get outmaneuvered by their enemies. Communications, meanwhile, describes the transmission of data necessary for a given mission.

Intelligence is the actual data used for a mission, and software may help protect it from enemy forces intercepting it. Surveillance describes using video and listening devices, and even a human presence, to monitor and record information and intelligence in a controlled or friendly environment, and similarly, Reconnaissance covers the gathering of intelligence from a hostile or uncontrolled environment, and this can be done either in person or with robotic drones that can fly over terrain and avoid risking human life in an operation. Together, these aspects of C4ISR make operations possible for the branches of the military, the police, SWAT teams, and similar agencies, and competitive C4ISR systems can help keep innocent lives safe.

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