A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, 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.
He served as a Bombardier/Navigator in the A 6E Intruder and deployed to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he completed several flight test tours, culminating in command of VX-23 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. There he led over 500 personnel in the execution of flight test engineering efforts for over 40 F/A-18A-F, EA-18G, EA-6B, T-45A/C, F-35B/C, and X-47B tactical aircraft. He later served in the F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office as Deputy Program Manager for Spectrum Dominance, where he was responsible for the life cycle management of the Electronic Attack, Radar, and Electro-Optical/Infrared subsystems. In October 2013, he became the Program Manager for Unmanned Carrier Aviation, responsible for the acquisition and development of the X-47B demonstrator and the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) system, which was later restructured as the MQ-25 Stingray program. The X-47B was the first Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to autonomously take off and land from an aircraft carrier in 2013, as well as the first to autonomously aerially refuel from another aircraft in 2015. The MQ-25 will be the nation’s first operational UAS to be based on an aircraft carrier.
CAPT Duarte has accumulated 2,300 flight hours in 51 different aircraft and has logged over 370 carrier landings. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Naval Achievement Medal, and various other unit awards.