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AMC assists Central African Republic peacekeeping mission

Burundi soldiers prepare to load onto a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Burundi soldiers prepare to load onto a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. Since Dec. 12, when the airlift mission began, eight C-17 flights have traveled from Burundi to the Central African Republic, carrying 432 passengers, 25 pallets of equipment and 13 Burundian military vehicles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Senior Airman Corey McGrath, a Security Forces Phoenix Raven, ensures all weapons are clear before Burundi soldiers load onto a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Senior Airman Corey McGrath, a Security Forces Phoenix Raven, ensures all weapons are clear before Burundi soldiers load onto a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

A Burundi soldier waits to take off in a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

A Burundi soldier waits to take off in a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Burundi soldiers gather their gear at the Bangui Airport, Central Africa Republic, Dec. 13, 2013. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the CAR. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Burundi soldiers gather their gear at the Bangui Airport, Central Africa Republic, Dec. 13, 2013. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the CAR. Since Dec. 12, when the airlift mission began, eight C-17 flights have traveled from Burundi to the Central African Republic, carrying 432 passengers, 25 pallets of equipment and 13 Burundian military vehicles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Burundi soldiers await take off in a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Burundi soldiers await take off in a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Senior Airman Edurado Govea, a Security Forces Phoenix Raven, speaks with a Burundi soldier before take off in a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Senior Airman Edurado Govea, a Security Forces Phoenix Raven, speaks with a Burundi soldier before take off in a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bujmumbura Airport, Burundi. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the Central African Republic. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

U.S. Air Force members unload cargo off a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bangui Airport, Central Africa Republic. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the CAR. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

U.S. Air Force members unload cargo off a C-17 Globemaster Dec. 13, 2013 at Bangui Airport, Central Africa Republic. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the CAR. Since Dec. 12, when the airlift mission began, eight C-17 flights have traveled from Burundi to the Central African Republic, carrying 432 passengers, 25 pallets of equipment and 13 Burundian military vehicles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Burundi soldiers load their gear at the Bangui Airport, Central Africa Republic, Dec. 13, 2013. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the CAR. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

Burundi soldiers load their gear at the Bangui Airport, Central Africa Republic, Dec. 13, 2013. In coordination with the French military and African Union, the U.S. military provided airlift support to transport Burundi soldiers, food and supplies in the CAR. This support is aimed at enabling African forces to deploy promptly to prevent further spread of sectarian violence and restore security in CAR. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas)

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department sent another Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport jet from Burundi to the Central African Republic today in support of the African Union-led International Support Mission in that beleaguered nation, Army Col. Steve Warren, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters here.

The aircraft carried 39 personnel, a 1.5-ton truck, an armored personnel carrier and six pallets of equipment totaling 42 tons, he added.

Since Dec. 12, when the airlift mission began, eight C-17 flights have traveled from Burundi to the Central African Republic, carrying 432 passengers, 25 pallets of equipment and 13 Burundian military vehicles, Warren said.

"There's another flight scheduled today, and two more scheduled for tomorrow," he added. "We estimate another 165 personnel will move on those three flights."

Two of the C-17s and a small command and support team were on the ground in Uganda by Dec. 11, preparing to conduct airlift operations in support the ongoing peacekeeping operations, Warren said last week.

Also last week, a Pentagon official said a second small team of Air Force logisticians was on the ground in Burundi to prepare equipment for loading, and a third team was in the Central African Republic to help with security operations at the airfield.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian requested limited assistance from the U.S. military to support this international effort, Assistant Pentagon Press Secretary Carl Woog said in a Dec. 9 statement.

"In the near term," he said, "France has requested airlift support to enable African forces to deploy promptly to prevent the further spread of sectarian violence in the Central African Republic."

In an audio message released Dec. 9, President Barack Obama called on the transitional government to arrest those who are committing crimes.

"Individuals who are engaging in violence must be held accountable -- in accordance with the law. Meanwhile, as forces from other African countries and France work to restore security, the United States will support their efforts to protect civilians," Obama said.

On Dec. 10, the president authorized the State Department to use up to $60 million in defense services and equipment for countries that contribute forces to the international support mission.

The assistance could include logistical support such as strategic airlift and aerial refueling, as well as training for French and African forces deploying to the Central African Republic.

The United Nations has estimated that more than 600 people have been killed in sectarian fighting in the Central African Republic. In addition to troops from African countries, France has dispatched several hundred troops to its former colony to help quell the unrest.