Ohio's USAF Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will receive eight C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to replace ten C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
The first four C-17s will arrive at the Air Force Reserve Command unit in 2011, after five of the C-5s are retired from service.
After the remaining C-5s are retired in 2012, the last four C-17s will be delivered to the air force base.
The secretary of the air force and the air force chief of staff approved the change on 12 March.
The C-17 is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military-transport aircraft that can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world.
It can take off from a 7,600ft airfield, carry a payload of 160,000lb, fly 2,400nm, refuel while in flight and land in 3,000ft or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield, day or night.