Azerbaijani National Guard

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Azərbaycan Milli Qvardiyası
Azerbaijani National Guard
Active December 25, 1991 - present
Country  Azerbaijan
Allegiance Azerbaijan
Branch Special State Protection Service
Size 2,500[1]
Headquarters Baku
Battles/wars Nagorno-Karabakh War
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel-General Vagif Akhundov (chief of SPSS)

The Azerbaijani National Guard (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Milli Qvardiyası) is a paramilitary force in Azerbaijan. The Internal Troops is under the authority of the Government of Azerbaijan [2] and operates as a semi-independent entity.[3] The Azerbaijani National Guard was definitely active in December 1996 but has been united into the Special State Protection Service.[4] The guard was established on the December 25, 1991.[5]

The Special State Protection Service (SSPS) of Azerbaijan is a military unit directly under the authority of the President of Azerbaijan. Its responsibilities include the protection of the President of Azerbaijan, the protection of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan (Parliament), the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, the Constitutional Court, the Central Election Commission and other public bodies as well as the protection of important foreign leaders visiting Azerbaijan.

One of the most important tasks of the SPSS is the safety of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan petroleum and natural gas pipeline and the South Caucasus petroleum pipeline. NATO is supporting the service with several helicopters and military vehicles in order to protect the pipelines.[6]

During wartime, the Azerbaijani National Guard operates together with the Azerbaijani Land Forces, and can be involved in local defense and security of the country, along with the army.[7][8]

Other law enforcement bodies in Azerbaijan include the Internal Troops of Azerbaijan and the State Border Service of Azerbaijan and its Coast Guard branch.

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