Army Secretary John O. Marsh Jr. has directed the Army Materiel Command to examine a proposal by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to move part of the Army's Troop Support Command to Utah.

Hatch asked last month if the Army could shift the maintenance and supply functions of the TSC to Tooele Ordnance Depot, where, he said, much of the work is already done. The TSC is now located in St. Louis, Mo.Many Army officials laughed at the idea, but Hatch said Marsh is now calling it a good idea worth examining as the Defense Department studies realigning its base structure to save money.

Hatch said that Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., wrote him that he expects the Senate Armed Services Committee to authorize $300 million to study base realignments, including the proposed St. Louis-Tooele shift.