Flying slowly, a trio of four-engine Air Force C-130 planes maneuvered over the Brownwood airport on a warm, windy Tuesday afternoon.
    Several parachutes appeared in the sky, and the men under the canopies landed expertly in the brush on an unimproved section of the airport.
    A few minutes later, the big turboprop-powered planes landed one after the other and trundled past the parking ramp, engines howling even at low power and huge propellers churning. Airport employees and several others stood on the ramp and watched the spectacle.
    Military personnel wearing combat gear disembarked from one of the planes and were driven away in trucks.
    Airport personnel had known for several weeks that the C-130s were would be arriving at the Brownwood airport and dropping parachutists,  but there was no immediate explanation from the Air Force about the mission in Brownwood.
    Dress Air Force Base public affairs officials said the C-130s weren’t from Dyess and they did not know why the Air Force was in Brownwood.
    In November, four C-130s from Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas arrived over the Brownwood airport but could not drop parachutists because of high wind, Air Force personnel said that day.
    Air Force Maj. Data Nishizuka, a B-1 weapons systems operator from Dyess Air Force Base, was one of several Air Force personnel on the ground at the Brownwood airport on the windy November day. Nishizuka said the C-130s and B-1 bombers were taking part in training as part of a weapons school that’s based at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev.
    The C-130s and B-1s were part of a “Blue Force” team that had been assigned to recapture Brownwood and the Brownwood airport from an enemy force, Nishizuka said that day.
    The parachutists who didn’t get to jump were Air Force personnel known as combat controllers, Nishizuka said then. He said the combat controllers are similar to Army Rangers and would engage enemy forces on the ground.
    C-130s are expected back at the Brownwood airport Thursday, airport employees said.