About the Expert
Captain Robert C. Francis Jr. of the U.S. Navy commanded the navy destroyer USS Lassen, making multiple patrols to the East and South China Sea. He has also served in multiple aircraft carriers, guided missile frigates conducting counternarcotics, counter-piracy, and freedom of navigation operations, and supported multiple Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom missions. His staff assignments include military assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs and the assistant readiness officer on the Commander Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet staff. Captain Francis earned a degree in physics from the University of San Diego, an MBA from National University, and a MS in engineering management from Old Dominion University.