WASHINGTON – Maine’s two major military facilities seem well-positioned to continue to get government contracts under the cost-saving defense strategy outlined by the Obama administration Thursday, according to Maine’s two Democratic U.S. representatives. Both said they back the president’s strategy.

But U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both R-Maine, stopped short of endorsing it, saying they need some questions answered first.

Collins said she worries that the smaller military force envisioned could prevent combat soldiers from getting a promised two years at home for every year they are deployed, even with fewer troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And Snowe warned that the strategy is a “significant departure” that’s going to draw a lot of congressional scrutiny.

Questions also have been raised about whether production of the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would be delayed under Obama’s plan. If so, it could affect the Pratt & Whitney plant in North Berwick, which does work on the engines of the planned F-35, the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history.

Obama’s announcement concentrates on downsizing ground forces and will put more emphasis on Asia and the Middle East.

That means a continued emphasis on the Navy and building ships, which bodes well for Bath Iron Works and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, said Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District and a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

BIW has about 5,400 employees, and Portlsmouth employs about 4,500 civilians.

“There is so much talk about the importance of building the Navy,” Pingree said. “I feel good about the potential impact on BIW or Portsmouth. Both are well-regarded by the Navy and are critical parts of how we will stay strong in the future.”

Pingree said that overall defense cuts are necessary and won’t endanger national security.

“We have to cut down on the cost of our military, and they have a good plan showing how we will stay strategically sound and well-prepared,” Pingree said in a phone interview. “We can’t continue with this same force we were at when we were in the midst of fighting two ground wars. It’s very expensive.”

Pingree said the U.S. has shown that it can build up the military quickly if it again finds itself embroiled in more than one war at a time.

Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, also endorsed the strategy.

“This review was necessary given the shifting security landscape and the need for our country to face budget realities. I have confidence that our military has the ability to adapt to this changing environment and will carry out whatever new strategy they are given,” Michaud said in a written statement. He also said he is optimistic that Maine’s shipbuilding operations will continue to get work.

Collins, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a written statement that the Obama administration’s “focus on the Middle East and the Pacific appears to be sound policy.”

But Collins, who also is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee, said she plans to question Defense Secretary Leon Panetta when he appears before lawmakers about “the impact of the new strategy on our security as a nation, our all-volunteer force, and the defense industrial base, which must be strong to meet current and future military requirements.”

Snowe said in a written statement that she wants to see more details about the new defense strategy and what the administration proposes for 2013 defense spending before she weighs in on its impact on Maine.

“I will be closely scrutinizing all (Department of Defense) programs, including the Navy’s shipbuilding plan,” said Snowe, a member of the Senate intelligence committee. But she noted that the Navy has stressed the need to build more ships.

The 2012 defense bill approved by Congress last year authorized spending $2.5 billion for work on three destroyers at BIW. Defense analysts have said that continued demand for new destroyers should ensure the long-term stability of BIW.

But Pratt & Whitney could be affected if work on the planned F-35 fighter jet is delayed.

The company said last year that about 100 of the roughly 1,300 workers at the North Berwick plant were assigned to the engine program, and that more jobs would be added when the engine is in full production.

Pratt & Whitney spokeswoman Stephanie Duvall said Thursday via email that “we have not been notified about any F-35 cuts at this time. Until they make any final budget announcements and we’ve had a chance to review, it’s too soon to know what/if any impact (there will be).”

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