Chadian President Idriss Deby (second from left), French President Francois Hollande (third from left) and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (right) before an African security summit on May 17, 2014, at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

U.S. troops have been sent to the Republic of Chad in an increased effort to locate the more than 200 missing Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted in the middle of April, the White House announced Wednesday, according to the Washington Post.

According to the report, 80 troops have been dispatched, displaying bolstered U.S efforts to “support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area,” according to the statement given from the White House.


The team is expected to remain in the landlocked country, which borders Nigeria, “until its support resolving the kidnapping is no longer required.”

Before this movement, the U.S. already had sent a team of military, law enforcement officials and hostage negotiators to help the Nigerian government—in an “advisory” status only—locate the girls who were kidnapped by terrorist cell Boko Haram.

According to the Washington Post, Department of Defense spokesman Rear. Adm. John Kirby compared the search for the girls to finding “a needle in a jungle.”

Read more at the Washington Post.