Col. Donn C. Yates is the Commander, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, N.C. As the commander, he is responsible for the organization, training and deployment of one of the largest fighter wings in the United States Air Force, consisting of nearly 6,000 Airmen and civilians.
The 4th Fighter Wing is home to 94 F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft assigned to two operational and two training fighter squadrons, flying more than 12,000 sorties and 21,000 hours per year. The 4th FW partners with and provides overall host support for the 916th Air Refueling Wing and its 16 KC-135Rs. Prior to assuming his current position, Col. Yates was the Commander, 48th Operations Group, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.
Yates received his commission through the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School in 1997, after serving as an infantryman in 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash. As an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot, Col. Yates has served in a variety of positions, most recently as the 334th Fighter Squadron commander at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. He is a command pilot with more than 2,200 hours and has supported operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel, New Dawn, Octave Fusion, Noble Eagle and Resolute Support.
1996 Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Texas-San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
2004 U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev. 2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Master’s degree in military arts and sciences, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2010 Master’s degree in airpower art and science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Air War College, by correspondence
2016 National Security Fellow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1. October 1997 - October 1998, student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
2. February 1999 - September 1999, student, F-15E Basic Course, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
|3. October 1999 - September 2003, instructor pilot, mission commander, chief of training, and weapons officer, 492nd Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, England
4. October 2003 - June 2005, instructor pilot, mission commander, weapons flight commander, chief of weapons and tactics, 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
5. June 2005 - June 2006, wing chief of weapons and tactics, 4th Operations Support Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
6. July 2006 - July 2007, instructor pilot, flight commander, and phase manager, 17th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. July 2007 - July 2008, instructor pilot, director of staff, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
8. August 2008 - June 2009, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. June 2009 - June 2010, student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. June 2010 - June 2012, Chief of Strategic and Operational Plans, J-5 Division, Aviation Tactics Evaluation Group, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
11. June 2012 - April 2013, Director of Operations, 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
12. May 2013 - January 2015, Commander, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
13. January 2015 - May 2015, Deputy Commander, 451st Air Expeditionary Group, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
14. June 2015 - July 2016, National Security Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
15. July 2016 – July 2018, Commander, 48th Operations Group, RAF Lakenheath, England
16. July 2018 – present, Commander, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,200
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, F-15E, C-17
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Aug. 8, 1997
First Lieutenant Aug. 8, 1999
Captain Aug. 8, 2001
Major May 1, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 2010
Colonel May 1, 2016
(Current as of April 2018)