A native of New Orleans, La., Capt. Beau “Abu” Duarte grew up in Houston, Texas, and graduated from Stanford University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Technical Management from Johns Hopkins University. He was commissioned an ensign through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in May 1992.
As a bombardier/navigator in the A-6E Intruder, Duarte made two deployments with Attack Squadron (VA) 196 in support of Operation Southern Watch aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). After decommissioning the A-6 in 1997, he served as an NROTC instructor at the University of California at Berkeley. He then reported as a student to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and was a Distinguished Graduate of Class 115. He was next assigned to the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron at Patuxent River as the UAV project officer and program coordinator, leading the UAV department in conducting flight test and evaluation of eight distinct small UAV types. He then served as the F-14 program coordinator, responsible for all phases of F-14 developmental flight tests. During this tour he was redesignated as an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer.
In August 2001, Duarte returned to USNTPS as the Senior Airborne Systems instructor. He was next assigned as the chief systems engineer for the Direct Suppression Systems Program Office before his subsequent selection as the director of the Cruise Test Organization within the Program Executive Office for Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation. Here he directed the planning, management and conduct of Tomahawk Land Attack Missile flight tests. In June 2005, Duarte reported to the Naval Air Mediterranean Repair Activity in Naples, Italy, as the executive officer until the command’s disestablishment. In July 2006, he was assigned as the chief test pilot for the Atlantic Ranges and Facilities at NAS Patuxent River, and in June 2007, he reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 as the chief test pilot. He fleeted up as commanding officer of VX-23 in January 2009, where he led more than 500 personnel in the execution of flight test engineering efforts for more than 40 F/A-18A-F, EA-18G, EA-6B, T-45A/C, F-35B/C and X-47B tactical aircraft.
In September 2010, he reported to the F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office as deputy program manager, where he was responsible for the life cycle management of multiple systems covering the electromagnetic spectrum on the F/A-18 and EA-18G platforms, coordinating the efforts of the electronic attack systems, next generation jammer integration, radar, and electro-optical/infrared integrated product teams.
Duarte has accumulated 2,300 flight hours in 51 different aircraft series and has logged more than 370 carrier landings. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, Strike/Flight Air Medal, three Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievement Medal, and various other unit awards.