Damascus Materials Testing Facility

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The Damascus Testing Facility

The Damascus Materials Testing Facility was an ONI Materials Group research and development base located in Vhalkem,[1] on the Outer Colony of Chi Ceti IV.


This top-secret base has been an important development and testing site of the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor for many decades, beginning with the initial version later dubbed as the Mark IV. Dr. Catherine Halsey, architect of Project MJOLNIR, worked in the facility for some time while refining the MJOLNIR armor series. Though the facility was only manned by three technicians, it had a curious feature, which was that a dozen AIs could operate and utilize the facility in close proximity to one another, which is typically impossible under normal circumstances for technical reasons. There were also obstacle courses for Spartans to become accustomed with their new armor.[2]

On November 27, 2525, the Spartan-II supersoldiers were relocated to the facility for their final stage of training: the inclusion of their MJOLNIR armor. Right after the Spartans received their armor, the facility was attacked by a nearby Covenant ship, the Unrelenting. All personnel were evacuated and the AIs were deactivated by Halsey when she removed them in the form of data cubes. Spartans John-117, Kelly-087, and Sam-034 boarded the Unrelenting and destroyed the ship by detonating its reactor with missiles requisitioned from their Pelican dropship.[3] The remaining Covenant force captured weapons and armor, which were studied later by a science lance dispatched by the High Prophet of Regret.[4]

The facility continued to operate in the wake of the Covenant attack. Beginning in 2542, the Mark V MJOLNIR armor underwent development here under the supervision of Dr. Halsey. The MJOLNIR/EOD and second generation MJOLNIR/Soldier variants were created and constructed here. The novel branches of the first MJOLNIR system's VISR codebase informed the development of the post-war Primeval VISR.[5]

Mjolnir suits tested[edit]

GEN1 Suits Tested[edit]

GEN2 Suits Tested[edit]


  • The facility was likely named after Damascus, the capital city of Syria. The facility also may have been named after Damascus steel, a type of steel used in sword-making during the Middle Ages. This steel was renowned for its strength and sturdiness. The exact process for forging it is believed to have been lost.
  • In the Halo: Fall of Reach comic adaptation, the Damascus Facility is depicted as an orbital station, a departure from the novel and Dr. Halsey's journal which depict it as a base located deep underground. The facility's depiction in the single issue comic book (1 of 4) bears a striking resemblance to the central section of the space station Deep Space 9 from the Star Trek series of the same name. 343 Industries' fan collaborator Stephen Loftus brought the potential IP conflict to 343i's attention and the Damascus space station was completely redrawn by Marvel in a new form for publication in the collected trade-sized volume of the Fall of Reach: Covenant comic.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ The Halo Bulletin 7.10.13
  2. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 114 (2001 edition)
  3. ^ Halo: Fall of Reach
  4. ^ Halo Wars, Timeline
  5. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, Primeval VISR description