Still, some contractors have managed to grow in the past few years. Defense technology firm ManTech International Corp. has added about 700 jobs in the Baltimore area since 2010, largely in Belcamp — near APG — and in Hanover, in Anne Arundel County, where it handles contracts for Fort Meade.

The company said its work includes field service support, information technology, software engineering and logistics support for APG and the C4ISR organizations there.

"The C4ISR market within the Army is not showing the same effects of drawdown as some of the others," said Rick Simis, president and general manager for ManTech's Aberdeen business unit.

He expects to need more people in the coming months.

"We're really optimistic this year," he said. "We're well positioned in several areas and looking to see some growth. ... Obviously, there are some head winds, but I think we're going to be focused on those areas we're confident will have the continued funding streams."

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By the numbers

Aberdeen Proving Ground's contracting dollars are falling, driven by federal budget tightening and the drawdown in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But the value of contracts to firms with a Maryland location held steady in the past fiscal year.*

Total contracts in fiscal 2013: $13.6 billion

Total contracts in fiscal 2012: $15.7 billion

Contacts to businesses with Md. locations, 2013: $1.5 billion

Contacts to businesses with Md. locations, 2012: $1.5 billion

Source: Aberdeen Proving Ground Contracting Center

*Numbers are rounded and adjusted for inflation.