A group of settlers from the New California Republic tried to set up a settlement in the region. The settlers named their establishment Rattletail, a shantytown set up around the only working well in fifty miles. The settlers shot anyone trying to access the water. By the time Hanlon evacuated the town, the five settlers had shot 24 individuals. Chief Hanlon convinced them to pull out, by lying about a raider war-band, one hundred strong, coming through the area.
Two decades later, Hanlon requested an increased NCR Ranger presence in the Mojave Wasteland from President Kimball, who agreed. The president decided to order the deployment of veteran NCR Rangers into Baja while forcing Hanlon to make do with NCR patrol rangers instead. Hanlon considered this move to be overkill, particularly since combat veterans were needed in the Mojave, not patrolmen. The pointlessness of the deployment is referred to by Hanlon as "chasing ghosts."
As the conflict with the Legion headed towards a final confrontation, the Republic's Veteran Rangers were recalled from Baja to the Mojave. Moving through Dayglow, the soldiers made their way to reinforce the NCR's frontlines.
Baja is a real-world region of the same name, a peninsula in northern Mexico.
Joshua Sawyer stated that the line referencing "chasing ghosts in Baja," and the identity of those ghosts is an "intentional mystery."[Non-game 1]
↑ 1.01.1The Courier: "How is NCR doing?" Hanlon: "It's no secret that we've had better campaigns. Holding this whole length of the river isn't easy. We're stretched thin and the Long 15 just keeps getting longer. Slow to get supplies. Slower to get reinforcements. NCR's senate has got funds tied up at the Boneyard and President Kimball ordered our most experienced rangers to chase ghosts down in Baja." (Hanlon's dialogue)
↑ 2.02.1The Courier: "There must be something good the rangers have done that you're proud of." Hanlon: "[SUCCEEDED] It's kind of a long one, but all right. About twenty, twenty-five years ago, a group of NCR settlers pushed way south into Baja. I guess it doesn't seem so far now if you look at a map, but back then, they were out a ways. They built this little shanty town around a well in the middle of nowhere. Called it Rattletail." The Courier: "[Continue]" Hanlon: "Word got back to one of our stations that raiders had been attacking the place. I went out with six rangers. We must have been on the trail for a week before we got to Rattletail. We lost one woman to Night Stalkers and another almost died of dehydration. When we reach the place, it's six shacks set up around an old well." The Courier: "[Continue]" Hanlon: "There's over two dozen bodies lying in the dunes way outside of town and five men with .308 rifles crouched behind sandbags. And these bodies, these people out in the sand, they aren't raiders. Aren't even heavily armed. They're just people who were trying to get to the only well in fifty miles. I didn't have to talk to the men to see that they did not care one bit." The Courier: "[Continue]" Hanlon: "They had planted an NCR flag over the well and they would not budge until every last one of them was laid out, dead and cold. So I walked up and told them there was a group of raiders coming, one hundred strong. I made up some cockamamie name for them and everything. The men looked at each other, looked at us, and asked me what we were going to do about it." The Courier: "[Continue]" Hanlon: "I told him we would take them back into NCR territory because we had already lost ten rangers on the way out. Ten rangers, five men with .308 rifles. Well, that was enough for them. They packed up what they could and we took them back north. Last I heard, they settled somewhere in Anza-Borrego. Raised Bighorners. Had some tough times, but it worked out okay for them. So there you go. That's my one bit of good." (Hanlon's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "What's going on in Baja?" Hanlon: "It's complicated. Goes way back. I told President Kimball that we need more rangers here. He accepted that, but took the most experienced ones and sent them south. Patrol rangers are good men and women, but we're about to fight a war." (Hanlon's dialogue)
↑Courier: "How is NCR doing?" Hanlon: "Mojave Outpost sent word through the stations. The rangers coming up from Baja moved through Dayglow a week ago. Some of the patrol rangers have reported that Oliver's power armor heavy troopers are starting to reinforce the front lines. Wish they got here a bit earlier, but that's the senate for you." (Hanlon's dialogue)
↑The Courier: "What do the new rangers mean for NCR?" Hanlon: "The Baja rangers can do more advance night scouting and sharpshooting to assist the troopers. Ranger combat helmets are old Pre-War gear. They have built-in low-light optics. Makes a big difference." (Hanlon's dialogue)