The 4th Fighter Wing will welcome new leadership July 3, as Col. Donn C. Yates will take command of the wing from Col. Christopher Sage, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base public affairs confirmed Tuesday.

Yates, currently the commander of the 48th Operations Group at RAF Lakenheath in London, England, joined the Air Force in 1997. His assignment as commander of the 4th Fighter Wing will be far from his first at Seymour Johnson, having first come to the base for F-15E training in February of 1999.

Yates returned to Seymour Johnson from October 2003 to June 2005 as an instructor pilot and mission commander. He also served as director of operations for the 335th Fighter Squadron, from June 2012 to April 2013. He was then assigned as commander of the 334th Fighter Squadron until January 2015, his most recent post as an F-15E pilot.

Before his posting at Lakenheath, Yates served as deputy commander of the 451st Air Expeditionary Group at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Yates is a command pilot with more than 2,200 flight hours in T-37, T-38, F-15E and C-17 aircraft.

Yates holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas-San Antonio, as well as a master's degree in military arts and sciences from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama and a master's degree in airpower art and science from the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at Maxwell AFB.

Sage has commanded the 4th Fighter Wing since he took command from now-Brigadier Gen. Mark Slocum in July 2016. Air Force officials have not announced Sage's next assignment.