A syndicate of technology companies that includes two North Carolina firms is banding together and bidding for a piece of the $38 billion federal Homeland Security Act budget.

Apex-based TransLogic Systems, a developer of network-based software solutions, and Fayetteville-based Spectrum Network Technologies have joined forces with Safe Passage International of Rochester, the Golan Group, a multi-national Israeli security firm, and the Pan Am International Flight Academy based in Miami, FL in submitting the bid — expected to be worth millions — to the newly established Transportation Security Administration.

The TSA is hiring more than 30,000 security screeners at 429 of the nation’s largest airports, as well as thousands of federal law enforcement officers, security directors, intelligence officers and support personnel, in an effort to beef up security following the Sept. 11 attacks.

Since the core element of airport security is the screening of passengers and property, federal authorities want all security workers to complete 40 hours of classroom training, 60 hours of on-the-job training, and an exam before they can begin work. Separate curriculum is required for training screeners to use up-to-date equipment and new technologies.

“We would be providing the learning management system that will manage the career paths of all airport screeners,” says Bob Mulcahy, chief strategy officer for TransLogic. “Our system also allows alerts to be securely transmitted in real time. For example, if they catch a new type of pipe bomb in Los Angeles within minutes they could enter that into their systems and it would be dispersed to all 429 airports, as well as any governmental agency, such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation. Right now, the way they record incidents is all paper based and there is no way to distribute that information in a timely manner.”

Mindy Hamlin, spokeswoman for Raleigh-Durham International Airport, declined to comment on RDU’s procedure for alerting other airports of security incidents, saying that St.Louis-based Huntley Corp. is in charge of security at the airport. Huntley officials did not return telephone calls from Local Tech Wire.

TransLogic’s technology

Translogic’s management team has been working together for the past seven years in companies such as MCI, IBM and Interpath. The company, launched in 1999, completes most of its research and development in India.

TransLogic’s local operations are responsible for generating customers and providing services and support for its software. Because there is a 10-hour time difference between TransLogic’s Apex offices and its offices in India, the company has a 24-hour virtual operation. So as the local team completes its work in the evening, the Indian office is just beginning its workday.

TransLogic’s learning management system, internally developed software it calls “careerLogic,” is a Web-based tracking and management system written in Java that allows students to register for courses, create personalized schedules, take quizzes and exams and track their overall progress, among other functions.

Spectrum already works with military

Spectrum, an information technology company that concentrates on military training over a computer network, has been designing and marketing its services toward the U.S. military since it began doing business in May 2001.

Both companies, with a combined 40 employees, already are working together on a career management system for the U.S. Army, and are awaiting word on that proposal as well. “We’ve been planting seeds for this for about eight months now,” says Anton Pavlas, a founder and vice president of Spectrum.

The momentum that pushed all five companies toward bidding together on the TSA began when Pavlas first learned of the government’s request for proposals in January. Pavlas phoned a friend at Safe Passage, one of the original developers of computer-based training for airports, and suggested the two companies get a proposal together.

That’s when Spectrum President Barry Pulliam, mentioned that software developed by TransLogic would be a perfect fit for the project. Pulliam contacted Mulcahy, and with a little more than a week to put together a proposal the companies spent many long nights trying to meet the government-imposed deadline.

At first they wanted proposals within a week,” Mulcahy says. “But too many people complained that that was not enough time, so they extended it a week and we were able to get ours in there.”

All of the companies are subcontracting under Pan Am because of its experience and knowledge of working with the government, and Pan Am brought Golan into the picture because of their counter terrorism experience independent of the three technology companies, Mulcahy says.

Federal officials could announce the winning bid as early as this week. The winning bidder will then have until Nov. 18 to develop and get the system up and running and all 30,000 screeners trained.