General Partner Update
Previous GP Updates
Dear Friends and Investors;
I hope all is well. The sun is making it's warming presence known among the clouds this beautiful morning here in San Diego. I am back from Ft. Story VA with nothing but good news. While the weather was questionable all the answers re DAMPS were made very clear.
I will begin with comments from Jon Nussbaum but first I, we, must give Jon a tremendous thank you and a heartfelt HOOAH! Without his ongoing diligence in getting us invited to the event and astitue personal and management support during the event, none of this would be possible. Thank you Jon our DAMPS brother from another mother. My Dad always told us, "It's sometime more important who you know than what you know." Jon is living proof of the precept.
I also want to thank Mark & Terre Edwards, John Church, Dr. John Ciccone, Kent Truckenbrod, Ed Stone, Greg Hengesbaugh, Cliff Knutson, Art Federico and my loving family for the essential economic managment and personal support required over the last three months to make our success at this event possble. As I always say, "No one does anything by themselves except give up."
I just wanted to recap the outstanding events of the week. A fantastically positive day and a giant leap forward for DAMPS.
We, you and I, attended the USSOCOM Test and Evaluation 14-2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Ft Story, VA on 27-28 MAR 14. We had two days of experimentation, which consisted of SOF operators, USSOCOM/SORDAC (Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center) staff and multiple other government agencies (DHS, Army, Navy) wearing and evaluating the DAMPS Mk.V shock mitigation boot. I received my pair of boots on 25 MAR and wore them from receipt to the present. I will summarize the result of the experiment as well as my insights into where the boot is right now:
Summary: the experimentation consisted of two days, a dismount day and a maritime day, of operators and other government employees wearing and reviewing the boots. The second day consisted of maritime experimentation on an experimental boat with Special Boat Team operators and us. SOF operators were from USASOC/TAU (Test and Assessment Unit (formerly SORSE)), NAVSOC/SEALS/Special Boat Units (east coast, west coast and riverine out or Stenis, MS), AFSOC, MARSOC and SORDAC.
The reviews on the first day were 97% outstandingly favorable and 3% positive criticism/suggestions. Most of the 3% were oriented towards the uppers and the insoles, not the DAMPS component or the soles.
It was determined that the insole selection was a critical component and it could be possibly improved by extending the bad of it up the heel to prevent blisters potentially caused by the up and down movement of the foot in the heel cup area. The uppers (Bates) were fine, but a large majority of operators prefer different brands of boots, namely Rocky and Oakley. The uppers, and I experienced this personally, were very attractive, but very painful on my inside ankle bones.The Vibram soles were deemed worthy in terms of form, fit, function and brand name.The interchangeable DAMPS inserts were very much preferred because of the different demands of the operators for different mission and duty profiles.More extensive evaluations then allowed for at the experimentation were desired to generate a need statement to promote procurement or a development program.
The reviews from the maritime experimentation were even more encouraging. They were evaluated by west coast and Stenis boat captains for a one hour period in the Chesapeake Bay in sea state 2/3 at speeds up to 55 mph in an experimental boat fabricated by Bay Design Marine Group from Melbourne, FL. This boat was a twin hull designed to reduce shock, and the DAMPS was evaluated as an augmentation to this as well as a standalone solution.
The operators, weighing between 205 and 235 pounds, tested all three levels of DAMPS inserts and determined that level 2 was the most beneficial. This was in clandestine gear (i.e., civilian clothes with no body armor or weapons).
The boots provided two separate levels of shock mitigation. They negated the vibration (high frequency, persistent shock) which is annoying and also indices significant stress and fatigue. The boots also significantly reduced the shock of wave impact (intermittent low frequency) to the point that the operators would be freed up to operate the boat and not focus on surviving the ride. Surviving the ride is no exaggeration. Multiple operators commented that careers on boats are limited by the level of injuries sustained by crewmen in transit. One west coast former boat captain stated that he had received shin splints just from stand on the deck of a moving boat for an hour. The Senior Chief from Special Boat Detachment 20 (east coast) who headed up the User testing for the experiment stated that there are two different types boat crewmen; those who have been injured from riding the boat and had surgery, and those who were going to be injured from riding the boat and will have surgery.
Once again, the insoles were determined to be a critical component of the overall solution, maximizing general comfort over the DAMPS insert and maximizing the benefits of the DAMPS performance.
The boots were deemed sufficient and a significant solution as they stand now and can be optimized in many ways down the road.The boots would be beneficial on all combatant craft types, to include riverine.Follow up evaluations and/ a procurement and/or a development program are desired and will be pursued.Crane was instrumenting the boat on the trial right after ours to get shock data. We have requested copies from SOCOM.
We will be receiving formal write ups from the operator evaluators as well as informing potential developing agencies that have the requirement for developing and fielding boots and gear to the SOCOM community. Unfortunately the attached pictures only show calmer water. It was difficult to hold on and take pictures in the rougher areas. The operator pictures could only be taken from the waist down for security reasons. The last one is a bonus, Capt Jeff at the helm. We are almost across the goal line, and I would be prepared to start selling boots across the internet commercially now.
For me, words really do not really accurately describe the excitement DAMPS generated at the event. It was everthing and more that I could have anticipated.As we were leaving on Friday one of the Directors of the events came up up to us, thanked us for our participation and told us, "We were were one of the hits of the event." Plus I got to drive an experimental boat. It doesn't get much better than that!I feel very blessed. While now, we could not be in a better postion for contactual follow up with the mlitary in FY2014, I again stress that it has never been our goal to put our total financial aspirations behind military funding. All our combined military efforts have been to first take care of our brave warriors and then to favorably position DAMPS for a commercial/medical license partner(s). This latest feedback from the SOF shock mitigation event, combined with our upcoming shock mitigation pressure surface mapping data from NORAXON next week should be pursuasive with Bates/Wolverine and or provide us with a sufficient sustantiative introduction strength to locate another commercial partner within the very competitive footwear industry. This news is also a shot in the arm to secure funding from our Investment banking group that is closely following our progress. I have attached pictures from the event and they will be included in our upcoming web site update along with the latest pressure surface data. I will let everyone know when Ethan and I have updated www.damps.com. As always, if anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me. Much more to come.
Jeffrey W. Brown
B&B Technologies LP
(858) 581-9015 Land
(619) 889-6397 Cell
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