At France's request, the U.S. will send two military planes to help deploy African peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic.
Two C17s will move troops from nearby Burundi to the CAR's capital of Bangui, where hundreds have reportedly been killed by Muslim and Christian militias over several days.
On Friday, French troops began arriving in the CAR after the U.N. Security Council authorized their deployment, along with an expanded African-led peacekeeping force. The troops arriving from Burundi will help make up that African-led force.
Over the weekend, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power spoke with CAR President Michel Djotodia, who said in a recent interview that he cannot control the militias that have taken control of most of the country.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the move after meeting with French Defense Minister Yves Le Drian in Kabul on Sunday, according to Pentagon spokesman Carl Woog.