The Damascus Materials Testing Facility was an ONI Materials Group research and development base located in Vhalkem, 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.
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. The remaining Covenant force captured weapons and armor, which were studied later by a science lance dispatched by the High Prophet of Regret.
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.