BRUNSWICK — Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, told Pentagon officials today that it was a mistake to close the Topsham-based Commissary and the Navy Exchange in Brunswick.

Pingree, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the stores should remain open after the Brunswick Naval Air Station closes in May. Her comments were made during a hearing in Washington, D.C.

“Given the significant active duty, reserve and retiree population that continues to serve and reside in the midcoast Maine area, is the Navy’s decision to close these stores really consistent with Department of Defense guidelines?” Pingree asked Robert Gordon, an undersecretary of defense, who oversees the commissary system.

The commissary and exchange will remain open until at least September as the result of a provision that members of Maine’s congressional delegation were able to include in the most recent defense appropriations bill.

According to the Defense Department, the average commissary shopper saves more than 30 percent on their grocery bill, which translates into a savings of about $4,400 a year for a family of four.

“The entire Maine delegation is united in our effort to keep a commissary and exchange in Brunswick,” Pingree said. “It is a benefit that both active duty and retired military personnel deserve.”