Published: May 22, 2014 7:33 AM EDT
Updated: May 22, 2014 11:41 AM EDT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A U.S. military spokesman says that the 80 personnel deployed to Chad to help find nearly 300 kidnapped Nigerian school girls are from the Air Force and have already begun their mission.
    
Chuck Prichard, a spokesman at the U.S. military's Africa command in Germany, said Thursday that the 80 Air Force personnel were previously stationed in the United States, though he did not disclose where in the U.S.
    
President Barack Obama told Congress in a letter Wednesday about the deployment. Obama said the service members will help with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the nearby region.
    
The missing girls and young women, all from a school in northern Nigeria, were kidnapped last month by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

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