ACCESSION NUMBER:242957 FILE ID:POL206 DATE:09/15/92 TITLE:DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 (09/15/92) TEXT:*92091506.POL DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 (Bosnia, Somalia, Israeli defense, POW/MIAs) (610) NEWS BRIEFING -- Deputy spokesman Bob Hall discussed the following topics: U.S. HELICOPTER HIT BY GROUND FIRE OVER BOSNIA Hall said one of two U.S. CH-53 rescue helicopters flying a search and rescue mission over Bosnia-Hercegovina September 3 was hit by ground fire while trying to locate the wreckage of an Italian relief aircraft. When the pilots saw ground fire they returned to their ship off the coast, he said. The initial inspection of the helicopters, which was conducted at night, did not indicate anything was amiss, he said, but a later evaluation on September 7 "revealed a hole in the helicopter tail rotor" resulting from a 5.56 mm small arms round. Hall also said that beginning September 11, U.S. aircraft flying relief missions in support of Operation Provide Promise began using a new route taking them from Germany to Split, in Croatia, to Zagreb, back to Split and then returning to Frankfurt. Flights into Sarajevo were suspended when the Italian relief aircraft was shot down. Since the Split missions began, he said, 94.3 metric tons of aid have been flown in. U.S. DELIVERS FIRST PAKISTANI TROOPS TO SOMALIA The U.S. Air Force delivered the first 40 Pakistani soldiers and their equipment to Mogadishu, Somalia, September 14, and the remainder of the 60-member advanced party were flown in from Islamabad via Djibouti on September 15, Hall said. He said that eventually, the number of Pakistanis participating in the United Nations security effort in Somalia is expected 1o climb to 500. The spokesman said U.S. humanitarian flights into Oddur, Somalia, began September 12; four flights carrying 33.67 metric tons have been made. Flights of food also continue to Baidoa and Belet Weyne, he said. To date, he said, the United States has delivered 1,191.51 metric tons to all three Somali locations aboard 119 flights and 1,743.7 metric tons to Kenya on 104 flights. U.S. COMMITTED TO ISRAEL'S "DEFENSIVE EDGE" Hall told questioners the United States remains committed to maintaining Israel's "qualitative edge and their defense capabilities." The question was raised in the wake of the Defense Department's September 15 notification to Congress of a plan to sell 72 F-15XP aircraft to Saudi Arabia. The $9,000 million package also includes 900 Maverick AIM-9S and 300 AIM-7M air-to-air missiles, 600 CBU-87 (cluster) bombs and 700 GBU-10/12 (general purpose) bombs, as well as spare and repair parts, support equipment, technical documentation and logistics services. Hall said a U.S.-Israeli defense dialogue has been going on "for a long time" and predates President Bush's decision to sell the F-15s to Saudi Arabia. Maintaining Israel's qualitative defense edge, he said, is "an ongoing process." The spokesman said military experts assessed Saudi defense needs and equipment requirements, but the Defense Department would not have made the sale if it had been perceived as "a threat to Israel." MORE DOCUMENTS ON POW/MIAS RELEASED TO PUBLIC The Defense Department has released another 4,700 pages of documents relating to American prisoners of war and those missing in action from the Vietnam War, Hall said. He said the latest batch -- drawn from the archives of U.S. intelligence agencies from 1966-92 --includes memos and official correspondence. With this fourth release of documents, the spokesman said the number of pages available for viewing by the public now totals 8,700. NNNN .