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"My goal is simple: as of right now, you are all maggots! You will not speak until spoken to, you will not sleep unless told to do so! When I ask you to jump, you will reply with "How high?" Do you get me?!"
Dwight T. Barnes[src]

The Santego Military Base is a United States Marine Corps-operated military base located in Arizona, west of New Mexico, where the Black Mesa Research Facility is located. It appears in the training chapter for Opposing Force, Boot Camp.


Boot Camp2

The Armory.

There Adrian Shephard receives his Advanced Training from before May 3 to c. May 15, 200-, under Drill Instructors Barnes and Sharpe, among others. The base is guarded by the Military Police whose members prevent access to restricted areas, and operates vehicles such as V-22 Ospreys and M35 cargo trucks.

Santego includes barracks, offices in the Tactical Operations Command, helipads, and the Advanced Training Facility, which includes the following sections:

  • Armory, where Powered Combat Vests can be picked up and charged.
  • Test Firing Chamber, where the recruit is shown how the PCV protects him from bullets.
  • Environmental Hazards Simulation, where the recruit must get through miscellaneous hazards such as fire, steam, electricity and radioactive waste, while being protected by his PCV. Its proper name is unsure; there is no sign at the start of the section.
  • Nightvision Training, where the recruit is shown how the nightvision goggles work.
  • Basic Training, where the recruit must perform basic movements.
  • Rope Course, where the recruit must climb ropes.
  • Live Fire Range, where the recruit is shot at and must avoid fire.
  • Target Range, where the recruit must learn how to use weapons.
    • Pistol Range, where the recruit must learn how to use the Desert Eagle.
    • Sniper Range, where the recruit must learn how to use the M40A1 Sniper Rifle.
  • Squad Training, where the recruit must learn to use his assets properly. The Engineer, the Medic and the radio communication are introduced.

During Shephard's training, the G-Man came several times to check on him, around May 3 and May 7.

Known residents

Barnes headshot

Senior Drill Instructor Dwight T. Barnes.


  • "Santego" is a variation of "Santiago", Spanish for "Saint James", "Yago" being an old Spanish form for "Jacob" or "James".
  • In Shephard's dormitory where Boot Camp starts, each trunk can be seen bearing the name of a Gearbox employee, such as Randy Pitchford, Stephen Bahl, Rob Heironimus, David Mertz, John Faulkenbury, etc., mirroring the Easter egg from Half-Life in the locker rooms of the Sector C of Black Mesa.
  • The sleeping quarters of the recruits and the target range bears similarities to "Full Metal Jacket".
  • The room right below Shephard's dormitory exists but can only be accessed by noclipping. Inside can be found an Easter egg, consisting in initials and a date ("DMM 1999"). "DMM" is the signature of Santego Military Base's designer, David M. Mertz; "1999" is the release date for Opposing Force.
  • All NPCs encountered before the player obtains the Desert Eagle can be killed (with cheats) without leading to a mission failure. However, upon picking up the aforementioned weapon, attacking a friendly unit will cause a "mission failure" and Adrian Shephard to await a court martial.


List of appearances


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Preceded by
Half-Life: Opposing Force story arc journey Succeeded by
Black Mesa desert
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