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Fort Zancudo

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Fort Zancudo
Airport summary
Airport type Military
Location Lago Zancudo
Owner United States Military
Runways 2
Current condition Active

Fort Zancudo is a U.S. Military base located on the outskirts of the Lago Zancudo swamps and at the base of Mount Josiah in Blaine County, San Andreas. It closely resembles real-life Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. Lago Zancudo's marshy environment suggests that Fort Zancudo is also based on that of real-life Naval Base Ventura CountyMugu Lagoon. Fort Zancudo is the only military base in Grand Theft Auto V and is also the only known military base in the HD Universe so far.



Satellite Image of Fort Zancudo and surrounding areas.

Fort Zancudo sits on the base of Mount Josiah to the northeast and is bordered by the Zancudo River towards the south as well as Route 1 on the west. The base serves as a main airfield and munitions depot for the United States Air Force. The United States Marine Corps are also stationed at the base, as suggested by the base's belligerents often heard yelling "Semper Fi!" and "I'm a fucking Marine!" during combat. The soldiers stationed at the base also have uniforms that resemble that of the Combat Utility Uniform, which is used in service by the Marines. According to the badges on some soldiers, there are also U.S. Army personnel stationed here. This means Fort Zancudo is shared by many different military branches.

Fort Zancudo, as expected, is heavily guarded and protected, with high, anti-scale fencing stretched along the perimeter of the base. The two access roads that lead to the base contain military checkpoints, with armed guards inspecting any personnel that arrive. Infantry patrol the ground in either Rhino tanks or Canis Crusaders. The airspace is patrolled by P-996 Lazer fighter jets that shoot down any trespassers, and there are Cargobobs that transport supplies.

Fort Zancudo features one main airstrip, one secondary airstrip, three large hangars, a few smaller hangars, a munitions depot, a fire and rescue station, a refinery, an air traffic control tower, a main office, and some barracks. Fort Zancudo holds standard issue military vehicles such as the RhinoCargobob, Buzzard, P-996 LAZER, and the Titan. However, on the Warstock Cache & Carry website, there are pictures of a Patriot-based ATV and a Hunter attack helicopter in one of the two Fort Zancudo runways.

The soldiers stationed at Fort Zancudo are rarely seen outside of the base. However, on some occasions, a large convoy consisting of Barracks OLs and Crusaders can be seen driving along Route 1 in the west or Route 68 in the south. It is possible that they are delivering supplies, which explains the large presence of transport trucks. During the fourth Rampage, two soldiers can be seen just outside the base, right next to the Fort Zancudo Sculptures. They are presumably repairing their Crusader before Trevor Philips attacks them. During the rampage, 2 Rhinos leave the base in an attempt to defend it, only to be destroyed by Trevor.

Panorama of Fort Zancudo.



The main barracks of Fort Zancudo.

Like Area 69, unauthorized entry over Fort Zancudo airspace is strictly forbidden. Fort Zancudo Air Traffic Control will issue warnings to the player via radio such as: "This is restricted airspace. Divert your course or you will be shot down!" "You have entered Fort Zancudo Airspace. Divert immediately!" or "You are flying in restricted airspace. Turn around immediately!" If the player flies over and departs the area, a 2-star wanted level will be attained.

Should the player choose to continue flying over the base after the warnings, a 4-star wanted level will be attained, accompanied by P-996 Lazers firing heat-seeking missiles. They will still warn you if you are flying a P-996 Lazer over the base. If the player resists, some P-996 Lazers will appear and start firing heat-seeking missiles at the player. If the player is flying low enough over the base, there will be no warning, but a wanted level will be gained if the player is spotted by someone on the ground.

If the player gets too close to one of the two checkpoint entrances to Fort Zancudo, a military officer will warn you with: "Sir, leave the area now! This is for authorised personnel only!" If you still linger around the checkpoint, the officer will give you a second and final warning: "I'm not going to say this again. Leave now!" If you still hang around the checkpoint for too long, you get a wanted level. If you somehow get the military officer away from the checkpoint, you will find that the warnings are scripted to occur if you get too close to the officer himself. It is unknown whether this was intended.

If the player enter the base by ground undetected, a 4-star wanted level will be obtained shortly after entering. This will sound the alarm, mobilizing any and all armed soldiers, defensive ground vehicles, and offensive aircraft.

Even if the player acquires a military vehicle (e.g., a Rhino) and enters the base, all ground forces will still fire at will. 




Mission Appearances

GTA Online

Fort Zancudo Training Ground, Taken from MT. Josiah


  • Fort Zancudo is only featured in one mission in GTA V if the offshore plan of The Merryweather Heist is chosen. Should the player opt for the 'Freight Plan' for the Merryweather Heist, Fort Zancudo is not featured at all.
  • Fort Zancudo and Los Santos International Airport are the only two areas unavailable for use in Deathmatch Creator. 
  • If the player steals a military vehicle from the base, the police will give chase instead of the military, due to the Posse Comitatus Act.
  • Zancudo is Spanish for a malarial mosquito.
  • Using a vehicle from the Super class or any motorcycle will sometimes allow the player to pass through the front checkpoint unnoticed, depending on which direction the guard is facing. Once passed, an entrance to a trench that surrounds the entire base can be found immediately to the right. Navigating the trench will not trigger a wanted level; it is recommended that the player quick saves at this point. Throughout the trench are several exits, with one behind the landing strip where two P-996 Lazers spawn. Once the player exits the trench, they can move throughout the base unnoticed for about ten seconds before the alarm is triggered. This gives the player a significant headstart if they intend to hijack a military vehicle, as the authorities' response times are delayed. It should be noted that if helicopters spawn, the player will be noticed and the trench rendered useless.
  • The heliport area of Fort Zancudo (near the Barracks Semi's spawn point) is also a secured area to make a save point and try to steal anything.
  • Alternatively, the player can drive down the dirt path beside the freeway (north of the base) and use the hill side as a ramp to enter the base, and then drive to a trench entrance. This is especially useful online, since the front checkpoints are gated.
  • Opposite the Ammunation in Cypress Flats, there is a garage door that reads, "Zancudo" and has a star on it.
  • It is possible to enter the Air Traffic Control tower of Fort Zancudo. It has several rooms including a non-functioning elevator. At the top of the tower, there is a room where the Minigun will spawn on the floor every 30 to 90 seconds and in the uppermost level of the tower a health pack will spawn. There are two guards at the very top of the tower armed with Pump Shotguns or Carbine Rifles.
  • According to news reports on the radio, the military are planning to expand the fort by constructing a drone base.
  • Unlike Area 69, Fort Zancudo does not have any SAMs on the ground to take out player-controlled aircraft. Instead, the P-996 will spawn behind the player and fire a Heat Seaking Rocket. If the player continues to look backward using the "look backward" function, the response aircraft may be delayed in spawn.
  • If the player is trying to steal a vehicle inside Fort Zancudo they should take massive caution as there are up to 4 Rhino tanks doing patrol in and around the base. Near the Titan's location, they appear often.
  • During the second hunting mission Fair Game given by Cletus, one can easily run from the hunting grounds and towards the Fort, being able to explore all of it without there being any hostile soldiers.
  • If you are flying really high, or flying dangerously near the ground above Fort Zancudo, the air traffic controller won't detect you and warn you to leave.
  • An internet article from Weazel News after the mission Blitz Play, reportes that Fort Zancudo has plans of opening a drone base near the fort. The article points that the base is going to bring needed jobs to the area and that they are also probably going change the law to enable the drones to help fight the menace of illegal aliens.
  • Strangely, when you fly over Los Santos International Airport, the air traffic controller will warn the player to divert your course and clear the area, but will sometimes warn the player that they will be shot down, even though there are no P-996 Lazers to shoot the player down.
  • Inside the control tower, the computer screens show a map of the United States which slightly differs from the maps downstairs in the Training Center, especially on the West Coast. The rest of North America is absent.
  • Strangely, the in game map on the pause menu does not show the layout of Fort Zancudo at all, instead it is just an empty space on the map (This is most likely due to the fact Fort Zancudo is a military and restricted area, therefore it should not be seen on radars or maps). However, the in game map will show the layout if you go near Fort Zancudo when playing GTA Online.
  • During around 7:00 - 7:10 AM patriotic music can be heard over the bases loudspeakers, possibly as a morning announcement. The music is "Reveille", a popular military wake-up call.
  • The design of the roundels (stars) painted on the hangars are similar to be that of the United States Army Air Forces. This variation of the roundel was only used from 1941 to 1947; leaving the implication that the base has been active for roughly 70 years.
  • Outside Fort Zancudo is a memorial dedicated to the fallen soldiers that fought in the wars.
  • The player can buy a green t-shirt for Trevor that reads "Zancudo". It also has a military star on the back. Can be purchased at Discount Stores.
  • Trevor is able to buy a pair of Desert Camo Pants from Suburban which is very similar to what the soldiers at Fort Zancudo wear.
  • If the player gets a wanted level near Fort Zancudo, the Barracks OL or Crusaders will chase the players like the LSSD.
  • During the mission,"Cargobob", the player is instructed to steal a Desert Camo Cargobob from Fort Zancudo for The Merryweather Heist.
  • Shooting the guard with a Sniper Rifles will result in a three-star wanted level, with the base alarm sounding and vehicles coming out of the Fort. Among them, Rhinos will also spawn, even though they're supposed to appear at 4 or 5 stars.
  • If the player gets too close to the barrier at the entry (without going over it) he will receive the standard 4 star wanted level.
  • In GTA Online, the base is sealed tight, and you can only gain access by using a plane or helicopter, or by using a car to jump into the base. If you get the attention of a patrolling Rhino and bring it to an entrance, the gates will remain closed and the Rhino will continue to ram the gate and open fire, and can blow itself up and any nearby military units.
  • In singleplayer, flying at high altitudes to the point when you are in San Andreas, flying over Fort Zancudo will not gain you a wanted level.


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