The Nellis Air Force Base, also known as the Nellis homeland, is a location northeast of New Vegas in the Mojave Wasteland. After the Great War, the base became home to the Boomers, a group originally inhabiting Vault 34.
Nellis served as the United States Air Force Warfare Center with the motto "Testing, Tactics, Training." During the Great War, Nellis was struck by several nuclear weapons, leaving the base highly radioactive. Over the following decades, wastelanders avoided Nellis by habit due to the radiation levels, leaving it empty and desolate.
For five decades the Boomers have made the base their home. Their Pip-Boy Geiger counters indicated that the base was still somewhat radioactive, but not dangerously so, as enough time had passed for many of the isotopes to have effectively degraded. They began using the base's remaining defensive structures and their own stockpile of heavy arms, retrieved from Area 2, to keep any strangers from setting foot anywhere nearby ever since.
The base is mostly self-sufficient, growing its own crops using water pumped from Lake Mead, with basic nourishment provided by grains and green vegetables, while protein is provided by soy and legumes. Maize is also used to produce fuel in its biodiesel refinery, while power is provided by the Nellis solar array and its generator. Boomers also receive a rudimentary education, covering farming and combat, and have access to the base's medical facilities.
Boomers use pre-War virtual reality (VR) pilot training stations to train themselves for the day when they will take to the skies, as their fascination with aerial combat grew during their time at the base. This dream stems from Loyal's finding of a file concerning the crashed B-29 bomber in Lake Mead, which the Boomers plan to recover and use.
Fifty years ago, a group of Vault 34’s dissidents struck out on their own and started using Nellis as a base. Over a long period of time, they eventually decided to call Nellis their home. They learned a great deal of information from the records at Nellis and used that information to open the weapons storehouses at (currently unknown locations called) Area 2 and the Hawthorne Army Depot. The result of their efforts was an enormous stockpile of heavy ordnance, artillery, and small nuclear weapons.
Due to the tribe’s paranoia, hostility, and excessive reverence for explosives, the New Vegas locals started calling them “Boomers”. The Boomers didn’t mind the name as long as it meant people kept their distance. No matter who approaches them (Mr. House, the Vegas families, NCR, or Caesar), the Boomers have the same response: artillery. While the Boomers’ attitude has kept away trouble, all of the major players around New Vegas want to get on the tribe’s good side. People simply have no idea how to accomplish that. As far as all intelligence indicates, the Boomers have a clean water supply from Lake Mead, power from solar panels inside the base, and thriving farms that they’ve learned to develop “the hard way” over the decades they’ve been in the base. Once, the NCR attempted to shut off the Boomers’ water supply. The Boomers’ response was to shell sections of the NCR’s water pipeline in eastern New Vegas. The NCR promptly restored the flow.
Nellis is well-defended, along cracked and cratered road littered with signs warning that the area is forbidden. The front gate is guarded day and night by a howitzer team. When approaching from Fields' shack, the Courier may encounter George, who provides the Nellis artillery timing details note. The second approach can be accessed by an unmarked train tunnel (with two Very Hard locks) located east of Raul's shack.
Upon entering the base, the structures seen are the control tower and the hangars to the west. Two runways stretch parallel to the east, occupying the majority of the base's territory. The Boomers have made good use of the land between them, converting a parcel into an irrigated farm plot, and just north of the farm, is the Nellis array, which provides power for the entire facility via solar panels. Along the northeast corner of the fencing is a graveyard that cannot be looted.
One hangar houses the remaining parts of a B-29 bomber, while the other is used to house the virtual reality terminals, used to train pilots, and doubling as a Mess Hall and storage area. Quonset huts and shacks on the west side of the base provide living quarters, as well as medical and educational facilities. Pearl and Loyal have their own separate homes, while the rest of the Boomers make do with segregated barracks. The Nellis Boomer museum is also located among the eastern huts, with a nearby biodiesel storage hut near the crane and tracks.
- Nellis Air Force Base snow globe - Inside of the Nellis Boomer museum.
- Howitzer Firing Mechanism - In one of the gun cabinets inside of the Nellis workshop.
- Duck and Cover! - Can be stolen from inside Pearl's barracks, among the books on the hanging bookshelf behind the sofa.
- Dean's Electronics - Can be stolen from inside Loyal's house on the table.
- A Fat Man and three mini nukes - Carried by a Boomer near one of three tents southeast of the Mess Hall and munitions storage hangar. Two mini nukes can be found on the bottom floor of the Nellis array on the shelves, while another mini nuke can be stolen from the Boomers' munition store, inside of a wooden box on the top shelf.
- Thump-Thump - Can be found in the Nellis array generator building bottom floor next to a skeleton and to the left of the ant mound, along with 12 rounds of 40mm grenade ammo.
- The base's biodiesel refinery has 102 maize inside - Located north-northeast of the Nellis Boomer museum.
- Two Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle Caps - Found on a table in the Mess Hall among other bottle caps.
- A key to a Very Hard locked gun case for the Vault 34 armory, used to open the pulse gun's gun case - Located in a filing cabinet within Pearl's barracks.
- Rebreather - Made by Jack during Volare!.
- Ant Misbehavin'
- I Could Make You Care
- I Hear You Knocking
- Render Unto Caesar
- Still in the Dark
- Sunshine Boogie
- The House Always Wins, III
- Things That Go Boom
- Wild Card: Side Bets
- Young Hearts
- Bear Necessities
- Highway to the Danger Zone
- Iron and Stealing
- Malleable Mini Boomer Minds
- Missing a Few Missiles
- Old School Ghoul
- Suits You, Sarah
- On the way to Nellis by the old road (before the bombardment), a man named George will approach the Courier and make a wager of 300 caps should they survive the bombardment. If a Barter check of 40 is passed, he will only need to be given 200 caps, although the new wager nets fewer caps upon completion (600 vs 400).
- Optionally, upon returning back after the bombardment, if a Speech check of 60 is passed, the Courier may threaten to have the Boomers change their target trajectory, causing George to add an additional 100 caps to the wager.
- If the Courier bets 300 caps, returns to George from Nellis, and has a speech check of 60 without the use of a skill magazine, the Courier may convince George to front 1,000 caps, a profit of 700 caps.
- There are several ways to safely get past the artillery, see Highway to the Danger Zone.
- If Jack is given scrap metal, it will increase fame with Nellis. Should enough be given (about fifty units), an instant Idolized status with the Boomers will be gained.
- If the Boomer with the Fat Man is killed, they will eventually respawn, acting as a source of infinite Fat Men and mini nukes.
- There is one Brotherhood of Steel paladin in the ruins of the town, who will have been shelled to death by the time the Courier reaches her. Raseleanne plays a part in the Still in the Dark quest and carries a mission statement that Elder McNamara requests.
- With Veronica as a companion during Pete's narration of the Boomers' history, she will comment on the similarities between them and the Brotherhood, with the Boomers recognizing her affiliation with the group.
- If the Courier boasts to the front gate guard that they safely ran through the artillery field, the Boomers will comment on it.
- With Cass as a companion, Boomers will walk up to her and say, "Whatever you're selling, we have plenty of it."
- With ED-E as a companion, both Boomers and the Mister Gutsies in the base will comment "I can take care of your robot problem. Just saying."
- Nellis has the most children in the game, with a total of eight.
The Nellis Air Force Base appears in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- The Nellis Air Force Base is based on the real world location of Nellis Air Force base, located in northeast Las Vegas, Nevada.
- According to Joshua Sawyer, the marksman and assault carbines are present "in part due to New Vegas' proximity to Nellis AFB."[Dev 1][Dev 2]
The guard that opens the gate may stand with his back turned and will not interact with the player character. [verified]
- To work around this, the player character can first provoke the Boomers by shooting the pacing guard and try to lure the guard that normally triggers the Boomer dialogue near the gate. If done quickly enough, the player character may then put away their weapon and be forgiven by the Boomer guards, and afterward talk to the guard near the fence to trigger the dialogue and proceed normally.
- This can be fixed by opening the console (~), selecting the gate by left-clicking it and typing unlock into the console. This will unlock the gate and allow the player character to walk in and initiate a conversation with the guard, then proceed normally from there.
- The script for artillery shelling may become bugged. Shelling will begin without a warning sound shortly after passing George near Fields' shack, and aside from brief reloading periods, will not end even when reaching the gate guard at Nellis. Fast travelling to Nellis thereafter will always result in shelling. [verification needed]
- At times, the guards at the front gate or in the guard towers will randomly attack, even at accepted status. [verified]
- Sometimes, after completing most or all of the quests for the Boomers and then making a trip back to the base, a random infamy gain will be incurred with the Boomers.[verified]
- By going near the base, discovering it, and leaving it without approaching the Boomer who was firing the missiles, Raquel will appear later at some point (usually after fast traveling) and ask the player character to meet Mother Pearl. They will then be forced to go back to the base with her to see Mother Pearl. [verified]
- Female Boomers at Nellis may have facial hair. [verified]
- Raquel: "I'm Raquel, Master-At-Arms for the Nellis homeland. Mother Pearl, our Eldest, wishes to speak to you."
- FNV Nellis front sign nifskope render
- Courier: "What's the next step?"
Mr. House: "Outside New Vegas, at what was once called Nellis Air Force Base, resides an unusual tribe known as the Boomers. They are, shall we say, aggressively reclusive? They have several howitzers they fire at anyone who dares approach the base. Artillery of this sort has a range of several miles. If it's going to fire on Hoover Dam, I want it firing at my targets. If not, then I want to make sure that the Boomers don't sign similar treaties to fire their guns in support of the NCR or Caesar's Legion."
(Mr. House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "I'm surprised Nellis was empty when your people found it."
Pete: "Several atomic warheads detonated here hundreds of years ago, leaving the base highly radioactive. The savages of the wastes, ignoramuses, all avoided Nellis by habit."
- The Courier: "Tell me about the Boomers."
Mr. House: "They occupied Nellis Air Force Base a little over 50 years ago. One of my Securitrons got some video of their arrival - and then... exploded. Odds are they were Vault dwellers. That's everything I know about them, really."
(Mr. House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "What are howitzers doing at an Air Force Base?"
Pete: "You're right, they weren't here when we discovered Nellis! We found the guns at a huge weapon depot called Area 2, many miles from here! It took many weeks to drag the guns and their ammunition back to Nellis - and it was the last time any of us set foot beyond our homeland!"
- The Courier: " "
Pete: "[SUCCEEDED] Indeed we do! Very impressive."
- The Courier: "I guess poor nutrition could explain a lot of your behavior."
Pete: "Our nutrition is not deficient! We supplement our diet of grains and vegetables with soy and legumes for protein."
- The Courier: " "
Pete: "[FAILED] We are certainly not cannibals! We're not savages, like some people! We supplement grains and green vegetables with soy and legumes - that's how we get our protein!"
- The Courier: "What happens when they come of age?"
Boomer teacher: "All of us are trained in combat and farming from a very early age. When we reach adulthood, we serve in whatever capacity we are best suited."
(Nellis teacher's dialogue)
- The Courier: "How do you survive, totally cut off from the world?"
Pete: "Nellis is a completely self-sufficient community! We draw water from Lake Mead, solar arrays provide power, and we grow our own crops!"
- The Courier: "How has Nellis taught your people to fly?"
Pete: "Once we restored power, we learned that some elaborate chairs we'd been sleeping in were actually virtual reality simulators. Before you ask, I'm afraid there's no way you can be allowed to use the simulators. They are for our use only. Sorry."
- The Courier: "How did you learn where to find an old bomber?"
Pete: "Loyal found a file somewhere on the base, with magazine articles, photographs, a map, even. It seems that a bomber, apparently the 29th of its kind, crashed in Lake Mead on July 21st, 1948. Just imagine - that's over 300 years ago! The photographs showed that it was basically intact, and the map tells us exactly where to find it. Except we haven't left Nellis in decades."
- Question: "Is the Marksman Carbine loosely based on the POF Short Barreled Rifle?"
Joshua Sawyer: "No. It's loosely based on some paratrooper-oriented marksman rifles I saw online. It and the Assault Carbine are present in part due to New Vegas' proximity to Nellis AFB."
(Fallout: New Vegas developer statements/Weapons; Joshua Sawyer: Assault Carbine inspiration, 2011 July 21)
- Question: "FO3 establishes that the R91 Assault Rifle was the standard issue armament for the National Guard. Why then is it not included in FNV? I understand the lack of Chinese ARs, but it seems like the R91 would have been a better fit than the assault carbine."
Joshua Sawyer: "The Assault Carbine is not standard issue. They are intended to be paratrooper weapons, which is why Boomers have so many of them."
(Fallout: New Vegas developer statements/Weapons; Joshua Sawyer: Assault Carbine Boomer use, 2012 June 7)