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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
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Fort Bannister
Fo3 Bannister Overview 1.png
Icon military.png
Fort Bannister loc.png
Map MarkerFort Bannister
FactionsUnited States Army (pre-War)
Talon Company
Brotherhood of Steel Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
LeadersCommander Jabsco
Cell NameFortBannister (exterior)
Wilderness -18, -2 (marker)
FortBannister01 (CO quarters)
FortBannister02 (bunker)
FortBannister03 (main)
ref id0000108c (exterior)
000010a2 (marker)
0004363e (CO quarters)
0004363b (Bunker)
0001a272 (Main)
TerminalsTurret Control System
Turret Control System

Fort Bannister is a pre-War military installation in the Capital Wasteland, north of Evergreen Mills.


Fort Bannister was one of the most important locations in the DC environs, integrating military facilities and a nuclear missile silo (concealed within one of the Fort buildings). When the Great War came in 2077, it became the epicenter of the bombardment, suffering several nuclear hits, which obliterated much of its surface facilities.[1] The massive bombardment of countless nuclear strikes has turned the area to Fort Bannister’s east into a hellhole; there are over a dozen large craters near the outer areas of the fort and six separate clusters of ruined buildings to sift through. The epicenter of this destruction is a massive central impression known as the Bannister crater.[2]

Warheads exploding nearby left behind gaping craters, a ruined town and the Fort in a state of advanced destruction. The nuclear detonations did not destroy the bunker's underground installations, however, which was likely the main reason it was secured by Talon Company mercenaries and used as their primary base.[3]

In late 23rd century, an alien body was discovered in Fort Bannister, revealing the shocking truth that aliens are not only real and alive, but they're actually present on Earth or near it.[4]


The bunker itself is extensive and is accessible from the ammunition storage, a manhole inside a lone commander's Tent, a bunker entrance just above the Commander's Tent, and a metal door down some steps just to the right when entering Fort Bannister through the south gates.

The underground levels of the fort are crawling with hostile Talon Company mercs who are all very heavily armed. If your combat skills are high enough to clear the place out, the area contains a staggering amount of valuable hardware to scavenge. The mercenaries here have a wide range of armaments, including assault rifles, Chinese assault rifles, combat shotguns, laser rifles, flamers, missile launchers and 10mm SMGs.

In the commanding officer's quarters are Commander Jabsco, the leader of the company, a Mister gutsy (though the Mister Gutsy model may be found in a dormant state, and likely activated once you attack Jabsco), and two automated turrets. However, the first of these turrets (the one upstairs) can be either deactivated or frenzied via a locked terminal just outside the commander's personal quarters. It should be noted that although the frenzied turret will track and attack Commander Jabsco, it rarely fires at him when he has a melee weapon armed.

The commander himself starts off with a missile launcher, but once he runs out of ammunition for that, he will either attack with his Occam's Razor, pull out his Chinese pistol, or rush downstairs and grab any weapon in the nearby safe. There is also a chance that once you attack the commander, more Talon Company mercs will spawn behind you. He will actually call out for assistance when the conditions for reinforcement, have been met.

In Commander Jabsco's personal quarters, there are also four generators which will explode when shot or sufficiently damaged by explosives.

Broken Steel

With the Broken Steel add-on installed, you should find several aqua pura pack brahmin near the tents. When searching the tents, you should also find Brotherhood Paladin Jensen tied up. He tells you that the Brotherhood is tired of having their aqua pura stolen by Talon Company, and intends to get some payback - Jensen is the scout for the operation.

If you free him, he'll charge down into the fort, quickly getting himself killed by the awaiting turret and the missile-launching Talon Company merc. Soon there after, two to four more Brotherhood of Steel Knights and Paladins will run in after him. The Talon Company defenses will shortly prove too much for the Brotherhood, and most of them will likely die. Alternatively, it is also possible that the Knights will defeat the mercs and occupy Fort Bannister. It will become another BoS outpost soon after.

It is also possible to run into the Brotherhood Alpha Squad (just south of the fort), which will soon assault the fort, before freeing Jensen or even approaching the Fort. They can be convinced to assault the Fort before freeing Jensen, who will be freed at some point during the assault.

After The Waters of Life quest, an Enclave research outpost can be found near the large crater, with a field research terminal containing their objective in the area (gathering samples). The camp is occupied by three Enclave soldiers, one Enclave officer, and one Enclave scientist. There is also an Enclave turret. There are three Enclave crates of which one you can store gear (the crate at eye level, behind the computer terminal). In the crater there are eight alien power cell cartridges underneath the over turned truck. There is a constant low level of radiation (+1/2).

Notable loot

  • The unique combat knife called Occam's Razor and unique combat helmet called the Talon combat helmet are carried by the Talon Company leader, Commander Jabsco.
  • Crater east of fort bannister.png
    There are 96 alien power cells in a large radioactive crater to the east of the Fort itself and due south of VAPL-58 Power Station. There is an overturned military truck in the crater, as well as several barrels of waste. The alien power cells are beneath the truck, made to look as if they spilled out of the bed.
  • A copy of Nikola Tesla and You can be found on a ledge between the stairs in the missile launch room, near an ammunition box visible from the stairs. It's one of the non-evident ones: enter the commanding officer's quarters from the wastelands, when you enter the missile silo, walk till you bump in an ammunition box on the ground to your left, at the sand bag defense of the mercs you encounter after entering the stairwell. From here face west, then slightly left and down: you'll see another ammunition box on the stairs' roof and a ham radio, one floor below. The book is between those.
  • A copy of Guns and Bullets is found on top of a gun cabinet inside the easternmost room of the bunker area of Fort Bannister.
  • In an average locked room at the bottom of the concrete stairs in Fort Bannister main (which can be entered from the outside area through either of two locked (very easy) doors - one is directly west of the entrance to Fort Bannister bunker), there is a copy of Big Book of Science, a Fat Man, and one mini nuke. Just follow the metal steps up to the top, and continue through the doorway to the concrete stairs behind a locked (average) door.
  • A Nuka-Cola Quantum behind a footlocker under the stairs in the southern most room of the commanding officer's Quarters.



Fort Bannister appears only in Fallout 3.


  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png When trying to back track to the Commanding Officers Quarters from the Bunker, the load might lock up.
  • Sometimes when in the Fort, if you target an object and slowly move your targeting reticule away from the object you'll see "Drink - Restore health | 16 rads/sec".
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png It is possible that when entering or leaving the Fort Bannister Main (west of the south gate), that your right analog stick will become unable to move your character's view, making it harder to V.A.T.S. and attack the mercs inside.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png If the player kills everyone inside the fort while the Brotherhood are still hiding, there is a chance the Brotherhood will instead make the tents a base, rather than the fort. Even if you don't kill anyone at all inside the fort, they will still occupy the tents. I have tried killing only a few, killing only one, and not going inside at all. Manage to keep everyone alive on the Brotherhood team, and they still leave the fort after the assault.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Rarely, the Guns and Bullets skill book will not spawn on top of the gun cabinet. To fix this, simply reload the level.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png The game will sometimes freeze upon entering this location. Restarting the system seems to fix the problem.


  1. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.335: "Zone 4: Irradiated Western Plains
    Outside of the D.C. Metro Ruins, this western section of the Wasteland was hit hardest by enemy bombardments 200 years ago, and evidence of the cataclysm is still apparent. Desolate pathways that used to carry vehicles are now used by Scavengers, Raiders, and other ne’er-do-wells. To the west is a large and extremely radioactive “birthplace” of the Super Mutants on this side of the country. To the east are the irradiated plains, where Wastelanders slowly morph into Feral Ghouls. While the Raiders attempt to edge in to the north, this zone is primarily a battle for supremacy between Super Mutants and the Talon Company Merce-naries, who have commandeered Fort Bannister, the epicenter of the historic bombardment. Be careful out there!"
    (Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)
  2. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.344: "4.Q: Bannister Crater (And Surrounding Ruins; Lat -14/Long -01)
    The massive bombardment of countless nuclear strikes has turned the area to Fort Bannister’s east into a hellhole; there are over a dozen large craters near the outer areas of the fort and six separate clusters of ruined buildings to sift through.
    Northwest Building Cluster
    The epicenter of this destruction is a massive central impression known as Bannister Crater. This gigantic dent in the earth features furrows east and west of the main crater, where a Military Truck has tipped over. Check the rubble for a couple of desks you can open, a Wastelander with Radaway, and a locked safe. However, the real area of interest is under the overturned truck. An odd-looking explorer has dropped an Alien Blaster and ammo."
    "There are reports of strange radio signals emanating from a Crashed Anomaly [2.G]."
    (Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)
  3. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.341: "4.09 Fort Bannister (Lat -18/ Long -01)
    A main military installation that suffered a direct hit back when the bombs fell is now the headquarters for the Talon Company. From a distance, this place looks like a small refugee camp with tents, but on closer inspection, the Talon Company appear and take no prisoners."
    (Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)
  4. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.45: "Aliens
    Once thought to be covered up by a government conspiracy and believed only by "crackpot" groups such as the Quaere Verum, evidence of extraterrestrial life can be traced back throughout human history, but became nationally recognized after the mysterious disappearance of the Clarabella 7 space pod during the 1960s Space Race. It is said that Alien technology was the basis of many of the Enclave's more exotic and impressive weaponry and robotics, and even toy manufacturers such as Wilson Automatoys weren't immune to these accusations. Recently, after the discovery of an Alien body in Fort Bannister, the shocking truth was revealed. The Aliens are not only real and alive, but they're back. And they're pissed."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)