Camp McCarran, known before the War as McCarran International Airport, is a pre-War airport which serves as the headquarters for the New California Republic Army in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281. It is considered a close second to Hoover Dam in terms of strategic importance. It is located south of the Strip North Gate and southwest from NCR sharecropper farms.
Originally founded as the Alamo Airport in 1942, the airport was renamed to its present name on December 20, 1948, after Pat McCarran, Senator, Nevada native, and author of the Civil Aeronautics Act. Once the primary airport of Las Vegas, the McCarran International Airport was heavily fortified before the Great War and featured a direct monorail connection to the Strip.
Although abandoned in the wake of the Great War, the arid climate of the Mojave preserved the buildings well, allowing for the New California Republic to settle into it following the Treaty of New Vegas in 2274. It subsequently became a hub of all NCR Army efforts, particularly the logistical aspects of troop allocation, supply distribution, and intel.
Camp McCarran is the largest NCR military base in the New Vegas area and serves as the headquarters for NCR military operations in the Mojave region and as a center of logistics and information for NCR Army forces anywhere in Nevada. The base is constantly under attack from the Fiends, a drug-crazed gang that operates in the area. It also has several Caesar's Legion spies within it.
The former civilian airport was chosen by the NCR for a military base because of the monorail to the Strip, for being an easily defensible location, and having easily utilized technology as well as fortifications that were built before the Great War. Mr. House agreed that NCR could establish a major military presence there as part of the New Vegas Treaty. McCarran includes a larger garrison than any other base in the area, except possibly Hoover Dam. Despite its high importance and large garrison, it is shorthanded due to constant skirmishes with the Fiends and troop redeployments.
Camp McCarran is also beset by many issues undermining operations. Notable problems that Camp McCarran is suffering in 2281 include broken-down cooking machinery in the mess hall, a lack of anything but mixed vegetables to feed the troops, spies in the base, and the captured centurion who refuses to talk to NCR commanders.
The base commander is Colonel James Hsu, who also commands all NCR Army forces in the Mojave. General Lee Oliver, the NCR Army's leader, used to command the base personally, but he has relocated to Hoover Dam in anticipation of the coming battle with Caesar's Legion and has thus left Hsu fully in command of the garrison.
The airport is mostly intact, having only suffered damage from lack of repair. The NCR has converted several of the guard posts into sniper nests, and the parking lot in the center into a barracks with sleeping, medical, supply storage, office, mess hall, and recreation tents set up, as well as firing ranges. Near the cargo terminal gates is a truck repair depot.
There are also several NCR supply trucks parked around the barracks tents and passenger airplanes near the control tower. The tents closest to the camp entrance are occupied by the NCR 1st Recon, while the rest of the tents are used by regular NCR soldiers. Some beds, such as those used by 1st Recon, may be used by the Courier without penalty.
If the Courier has enough positive reputation to use the NCR emergency radio, an NCR trooper or ranger standing outside the camp's entrance will assist the Courier. Speaking to the trooper or ranger will cause him/her to say "Trooper, ready to fight!" or "Ranger at the ready!" and they will become part of the party. If they die, a message is displayed on the screen, informing the player character of such.
The outside of the base is usually patrolled by groups of three NCR troopers on all sides of the complex, who will usually engage members of the Fiends. Typically, there are five of these groups. They respawn every three days. NCR troopers also use the control towers as sniper's nests, assisting or shooting at the player character, depending on their progress in the game or reputation at the time.
It appears that the NCR may have lost ground or pulled troops back from surrounding sandbag barricades stretching to the South Vegas ruins. NCR patrols, however, will go as far as the hill behind Vault 34, as can be seen from a group of three standing around a fire barrel. NCR troops venture into Fiend territory to eradicate their presence, in turn, better securing the perimeter of the camp.
The Camp McCarran terminal building is very large and houses a science lab, an interrogation room, jail, and supply rooms as well as quarters and office space for senior NCR officers such as Colonel Hsu. Within the terminal is the Office of Science and Industry (or OSI) lab, where Dr. Thomas Hildern and Dr. Angela Williams can be found. To the west of the lab is the office of Captain Ronald Curtis.
Upstairs, the player character can find Lieutenant Carrie Boyd and the detention center on the right. The monorail to the Las Vegas Boulevard Station and New Vegas Strip is to the left. The pre-War monorail is still fully functional and allows quick and safe transport between the camp and The Strip. However, only military personnel and VIPs are allowed to use it. The Courier will be allowed to use the monorail if they wear an NCR uniform, are in the company of Craig Boone, or have a good reputation with the NCR.
The pier style concourse that once provided passengers with access to airplanes before the Great War is now used as living quarters for NCR troopers. The concourse is a hexagon-shaped building, positioned between the terminal building and the supply shack. The area contains a dining area, medical station, and the trooper's bunk beds.
- La Longue Carabine - A unique version of the cowboy repeater can be found in Camp McCarran, carried by Corporal Sterling, who moves to Camp Forlorn Hope after Three-Card Bounty along with the rest of First Recon. Killing him for the rifle will forfeit the quests I Don't Hurt Anymore and Old School Ghoul. To gain this rifle without losing Karma, you can pickpocket the ammunition from him (it is all he carries) then fast travel to a different location, then return to find the rifle in his inventory.
- Cram Opener - A unique bladed gauntlet, carried by Little Buster, who leaves McCarran after the completion of Three-Card Bounty.
- This Machine - A unique battle rifle which can be obtained as a reward for the unmarked quest Dealing with Contreras.
- 227 bottle caps, spread throughout the terminal building and the concourse.
- Lab technician outfit - Worn by Dr. Kemp in the concourse.
- Two Ice cold Nuka-Colas - Both are located inside a chest refrigerator on the second floor of the terminal building near the jail cells.
- Two pieces of flint - On a table in the medical tent and the storage tent near a welding gun, only two instances of the item in-game.
- Classic Inspiration
- For Auld Lang Syne
- I Could Make You Care
- I Don't Hurt Anymore
- I Put a Spell on You
- The White Wash
- There Stands the Grass
- Three-Card Bounty
- You Can Depend on Me
- A Final Plan for Esteban
- Bounty Killer
- Dealing with Contreras
- Gland for Some Home Cooking
- Not Worth a Hill of Corn and Beans
- Poor Meat Never Makes Good Soup
- Rest and Resupply
- Silus Treatment
- The airport's runway is located south of the terminal, just behind the wall. This indicates that before the Great War, the airport was utilized for a different purpose.
- The garbage can by the baggage check-in station on the first floor within the terminal building can't be searched.
- The aircraft around the terminal have folding wings. This is a feature of Navy carrier qualified aircraft, in order to save space on deck.
- Should Motor-Runner and the rest of the Fiend leaders remain alive, the Fiends will mount an attack on Camp McCarran during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam.
- If Eureka! or Veni, Vidi, Vici is completed, the Fiends will be repulsed by the NCR at the expense of heavy casualties.
- If All or Nothing or No Gods, No Masters is completed, the Fiends will overrun Camp McCarran completely as the NCR retreats from region.
- If the Eureka!, Veni, Vidi, Vici, or All or Nothing are completed, the NCR will defeat the Fiends and ending their hold on the area.
- If No Gods, No Masters is completed, the Fiends will suffer heavy losses before eventually overrunning the airport.
Camp McCarran appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- Camp McCarran is based on the real world location of the McCarran International Airport in the center of Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Camp McCarran was largely designed by Charles Staples. Its location script was written by Eric Fenstermaker. The airport exteriors and vehicle models were built by Cochey Cantu, while the interior of the concourse and the supply shack were implemented by Paul Fish.
- There was originally a one of a kind Sentry bot here (McCarranFieldSentryBot). It is actually pictured in the Official strategy guide, so must have been removed late on. Its patrol routes are still in place on the map, but it seems the bot was deleted rather than simply disabled - it's not present anywhere in the game. It has an AI package that makes it patrol in a loop around the outer edge of the camp.
- In the retail release of the game there were two recruits and a drill instructor on the obstacle course. These were removed at some stage of the game's patching process. 
- There are also several push up idle markers in a pyramid shape near one of the aircraft here. It's likely there was supposed to be some other kind of scene of recruits training with a drill sergeant that was never implemented. Speculating further, it's likely the emplacement at the back of the area was going to be for some kind of further training scenes as well. 
- It's been pointed out that the back area of the camp where Private Crenshaw patrols has some interesting differences when comparing between the internal and external models for the camp. The external main Mojave worldspace version of the Camp has an interesting area where two guard towers are placed close together. The way they are positioned suggests there would be something important between them, such as an entrance. Of course Pvt Crenshaw mentions he is guarding the South Entrance even though there seems to be no such thing. Indeed on the internal version of the McCarran map there is only one guard tower in this position and no evidence of any door. Further adding credence to the theory of the gate being replaced with just a regular wall outside is the fact that what would be the entrance in this case is flanked by 4 NCR troopers (2 a side) as if they were guarding an entrance. In the final game it is difficult to see this as when the player enters the area they are usually fighting Fiends.
- Sometimes your companion may not follow you to the main area of the Camp, even if you didn't tell them to wait. To fix, just enter the terminal building, fast travel, or exit the camp.[verified]
- Game corrupts save while saving at Camp McCarran, during the quest to kill Motor-Runner. Saving in front of it can corrupt saves and the same rule applies to any other save file made after the ones in the Camp.[verified]
- NCR Troopers sometimes perform as though they are typing on a typewriter/computer (including typing sound effects) while seated in the dining tent, even though there is no keyboard present since the tables have been given the wrong "idle marker."[verified]
- If you acquire the journal in Corporal White's locker in the Camp McCarran concourse before receiving the optional task "search Corporal White's personal locker" in the quest The White Wash, the quest cannot be completed. This might lead to a save game issue where the loading screen dialogue tells you that the memory device is no longer present due to inaccessible DLC objects. The game will then restart upon loading dialogue confirmation. This repeats with the next loading attempt, rendering the save game useless.[verified]
- Sometimes when you enter the main terminal building all NCR troopers will become hostile if you are detected.[verified]
- After playing the game for a long time (at least an hour consecutively), Camp McCarran may cause extreme frame rate drop. This happens in both the outside area and within the concourse. Quitting the game and restarting should fix the problem.[verified]
- On occasion, when moving to the second floor of the terminal building, NCR troopers can become hostile. This also sometimes happens when exiting Camp McCarran. A quick fast-travel to another location and back can fix this.[verified]
- Order of Withdrawal
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp. 310-314: "[2.19] Camp McCarran
Camp McCarran is the main base for NCR military operations in southern Nevada. Formerly McCarran International Airport, the structure now houses and trains NCR's sizable battalions. Camp McCarran is the hub of activity in the area, and constantly has soldiers moving into and out of it. Despite this, security is tight and there are only a few ways in. A monorail connects Camp McCarran and The Strip, but it's heavily guarded.
Truck Mechanic Area
Concourse Gate A
This has been turned into a dorm for NCR overflow troops. Check Corporal White's Locker (32) for his Journal, which helps you out during Side Quest: The White Wash. Also of interest is Private Crenshaw's Footlocker (33); you can place something in here if you're working with Captain Curtis during Side Quest: I Put a Spell on You."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland) Note: Names the repair depot to the right of the entrance as a "Truck Mechanic Area".
- The Courier: "What's Camp McCarran's role in NCR operations?"
James Hsu: "It's our main base. We took it because it lets us keep an eye on the Strip. And it had already been fortified before the Great War. From here we handle most of the logistics for our operations in Nevada. Troop allocation, supply distribution, intel. Usually General Oliver runs the show here, but he's on his way to the Dam now, so I've taken on a lot of his duties here."
(James Hsu's dialogue)
- Silus during the unmarked quest Silus Treatment.
- The Courier: "Where is Lt. Gorobets?"
Dhatri: "Out in the yard. Gorobets coordinates our sniper teams. He's been gunning for Nephi for weeks now. Only thing he hasn't had is willing bait. Don't have enough troops to order anyone beyond the fence. Not anymore, anyway."
- NCR Emergency Radio (broadcast): "There is chaos breaking out at McCarran. The Fiends are using the opportunity to attack the base. There are also several riots breaking out in the area surrounding New Vegas. The looters have taken to the streets."
- Fiends Ending Slide 2: "Never weakened by NCR, the Fiends staged an attack against Camp McCarran during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. Though NCR repulsed the Fiends, they suffered heavy losses in the process."
- Fiends Ending Slide 6: "The Fiends attacked Camp McCarran during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam and suffered heavy losses. Caesar, unimpressed with their performance and their dependence on chems, had them exterminated."
- Fiends Ending Slide 3: "The Fiends staged an attack against Camp McCarran during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. During the NCR's retreat, the Fiends overwhelmed many of the troopers before Mr. House's Securitrons could deal with them."
- Fiends Ending Slide 4: "The Fiends overran Camp McCarran during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. In the anarchic months that followed, the Fiends asserted dominance over Outer Vegas."
- Fiends Ending Slide 5: "Though weakened, the Fiends attacked McCarran during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. NCR repulsed the attack with minimal losses and, in the following days, destroyed the remaining Fiend leaders, breaking their power forever."
- Fiends Ending Slide 7: "The Fiends attacked Camp McCarran during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, but the NCR repulsed the attack with minimal losses. When Mr. House asserted control over Outer Vegas, his Securitrons eradicated the remaining Fiends entirely."
- Fiends Ending Slide 8: "The Fiends attacked Camp McCarran during the Second Battle of Hoover Dam and, despite suffering heavy losses, overran it. They continued to be a nuisance throughout Outer Vegas, but never established full control over the area."
- Paul Fish's website
- Spare Us the Cutter