UN CBA Cover

It has been some years since we looked at the Enhanced Combat Body Armour cover in UN blue here. This of course was not the first body armour cover to be produced in the distinctive shade of blue for peacekeeping work. Before the Enhanced CBA, there was the normal combat body armour and it is an example of this body armour cover we are looking at today:

The most obvious difference between this and the later pattern is that this armour lacks the pockets for hard ceramic plates and only provides protection to blast injuries through its soft internal filler armour. In place of the pockets for the plates, the CBA cover has two large pockets on the front:

These could be used for a variety of items such as notebooks and pens, a sneaky chocolate bar or most typically a PRR radio. The back of the cover is completely plain:

Although the covers, and matching fillers, are sized, some adjustment is possible with a pair of Velcro straps on each hip:

The cover has a label inside with the usual details on it:

These covers were used for a long time, the relatively peaceful nature of UN duties meaning and the desire to look non-threatening meant that simple body armour with blast protect alone was adequate for most duties. The ECBA would eventually replace the CBA and the covers updated accordingly. Here the CBA in its blue cover can be seen being worn by a member of the Cheshire Regiment at Ahmići in Bosnia in 1993 following the discovery of a massacre of Bosniak Civilians by Croatan Defence Council troops:

As can be seen from this photograph, the wearing of body armour on operations was far from universal at this point in history, although the UN blue covers were already in production and being issued to those on peacekeeping.


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