The Bureau of Scouting and Exploration Services, more commonly called the Galactic Alliance Scout Service (which itself was shortened to GASS), iss the official exploration arm of the Galactic Alliance. Its goals include discovery of new planets and star systems, establishing relations with new species, and blazing new hyperspace routes. Created despite initial opposition from the Galactic Alliance Provisional Council, the GASS eventually flourished into a galaxy-spanning organization with thousands of bases, depended upon by GASS-employed scouts, corporate scouts, and independents.
Members of the Galactic Alliance Scout Service have a diverse array of backgrounds, from youngsters for whom it would be their first job, war-weary Rebel pilots and soldiers looking to augment their already formidable skills, and former Imperial Survey Corps scouts (many of whom had become disillusioned with the Empire and become independent scouts prior to Palpatine's death).
During the early years of the Galactic Alliance, member planets proposed the GASS to take over the duties of the previous New Republic Scout Services, the rebel Survey Corps. Though the Provisional Council opposed the creation of the Scout Service, feeling the new government's resources would be better used to assist already settled systems, the Solo family stressed the need to reestablish contact with lost colonies (or possibly contact new allies) in Wild Space and the Unknown Regions. The GASS drew upon the traditions and regulations of the New Republic's scout service when establishing its practices, but the depredations of the Imperial Survey Corps were long remembered (both by species it had victimized and the scouts who had lived through it) and the GASS faced an uphill battle in cultivating a positive reputation.
The GASS Department of Supply provided droids, starships, weapons, survival equipment, and other gear to assist scouts. Supply could normally be counted on only to provide "standard" equipment as needed and only after putting a requisition through several slow layers of bureaucracy; the Galactic Alliance's struggling economy prohibited the Department of Supply from acquiring large stockpiles of equipment or supplying scouts' needs in a hurry.
Department of InformationEdit
Scouts—whether Galactic Alliance, corporate, or independent—were required to submit claims on newly discovered planets or systems. The GASS Department of Information registered these claims and stored them in its Library of Systems. Data on newly registered worlds was made publicly available unless a Request For Privacy was registered by the claimant, usually in cases where a military research base or similarly sensitive facility was to be built on the planet.
Department of the MilitaryEdit
The military arm of the Scout Service, intended for small-scale engagements, consisted of over 5,000 of the most cutting-edge military ships available to the Galactic Alliance and about 50,000 soldiers who received training from the Galactic Alliance Defense Force. A typical mission for these soldiers was defensive in nature—securing specific areas on remote planets, serving as security aboard space stations, or guarding couriers and scout ships. Deployment of the department's forces could take months, since GASS could not send troops to a world without consent from the Minister of State. Though officially part of GASS, "Scout Soldiers" could be called into duty by the regular military if a crisis arose, and developed a reputation as elite warriors (partly because they tended to see more action than their regular military counterparts).
Being paired with scouts for extended periods of time typically resulted in scouts and soldiers sharing knowledge and work. Soldiers in the GASS' military division often evolved into scouts themselves.
Department of PersonnelEdit
Personnel maintained records on active and inactive Galactic Alliance Scouts and chose missions for active scouts. Personnel also handled payroll and miscellaneous data. The department had a reputation as a "classic bureaucracy" that could be obstinate and difficult to work with.
GASS scouts were paid 500 credits per month; this did not include bonuses for discovering habitable worlds or new species willing to join the Galactic Alliance. These bonuses (paid by the Colony Authority) started at 1,000 credits and could get as high as 0.005% of the planet's net worth—but the largest bonuses were almost never paid out in full by the cash-strapped alliance, and were instead doled out as monthly installments of 1,000 credits.
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