GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Blackmer®, part of PSG®, a Dover company, has a relationship with the United States military that began in 1914 when it became an official equipment supplier to the U.S. armed forces.
One of the more significant contracts Blackmer has earned was awarded in 2007 when the U.S. Navy selected the company to supply sliding vane pumps for use on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), which would be the lead ship in a new class of super-carriers used for crisis response and early decisive striking power in major combat operations. The USS Gerald R. Ford was christened in November 2013 and will be officially commissioned later this year with its first deployment set for 2019.
Gerald R. Ford was raised in the Grand Rapids area and represented its congressional district from 1949-73 in the U.S. House of Representatives before serving as the 38th President of the United States from 1974-77.
Blackmer and its employees (10 percent of whom are military veterans) take special pride in outfitting the USS Gerald R. Ford. Blackmer’s commitment to the USS Gerald R. Ford and the well being of its crew goes far beyond supplying the carrier with pumps. Working with the USS Gerald R. Ford Commissioning Committee, the Naval League and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Library & Museum in Grand Rapids, Blackmer’s Cultural Team held a fundraiser and raffle on June 16, with all of the proceeds benefiting the carrier’s crew. Items on the carrier for which the funds will be used include a Learning Resource Center/Training, Ship’s Chapel, Crew Library, Ship’s Tribute Room, Ceremonial Quarterdeck, Commanding Officer’s Import Cabin Complex and enhancements to the Food Service Division.
For a modest donation, Blackmer employees were treated to a lunch of hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, potato chips and apple pie. Raffle tickets were sold with prizes including two VIP seats to the commissioning ceremony in Virginia later this year; tickets to Grand Rapids Whitecaps baseball games; Detroit Red Wings and Tigers memorabilia; hats, shirts, pens and other items emblazoned with the CVN-78 logo; gift cards from local merchants; and two posters of the USS Gerald R. Ford signed by Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Ford. A special appearance was made by Vice Admiral David Architzel USN (retired), who was the driving force behind many of the technological advancements that are being incorporated on the carrier.
Susan Ford Bales, who was in Grand Rapids for another fundraiser last month, learned of Blackmer’s involvement in the outfitting of CVN-78 and was treated to a tour of the company’s facility on May 16.