SEVEN young recruits at RAF Benson took part in a public speaking competition.

Each recruit gave a 10-minute talk on a subject of their choice to a panel of judges including their superior officers.

The winning speech was given by aircraftman Matthew Salt, an intelligence analyst representing Operations Wing.

He won £250 in vouchers for his in-depth talk on strategy in future operations and emerging challenges.

LAC Salt, 22, said: “The standard of competition was very high and to be selected as winner is a personal highlight of my time at Benson.”

Taking second place and £100 in vouchers was senior aircraftman Ashley Woodruff with his talk on the strategic advantages of air superiority.

Coming in third, senior aircraftman and caterer Richard Greasley gave a presentation on leadership in the RAF, past, present and future.

The competition, held on December 12, aimed to recognise the potential of junior non-commissioned ranks at RAF Benson.

The Junior Leader Development Awards were sponsored by maintenance contractor PriDE.

Presenting the awards, PriDE’s Richard Thornley said: “The career development opportunities provided by these events are excellent and I was very impressed by all the presenters.

“It is really challenging to cover such in-depth topics so well in such a short space of time.”

The candidates were judged by Benson Station Commander and Group Captain Nigel Colman, Warrant Officer Alan Hart, PriDE Mr Thornley and Flight Lieutenant Chris Evans.

Group Captain Colman said: “It is never easy standing in front of peers and superiors to present on a topic, particularly those that are so well-known in the RAF such as air power and leadership.

“However, the presentations were professional, engaging, confident and thought-provoking, highlighting the high quality of junior personnel at RAF Benson and making judging difficult.”