|Commander of Azerbaijani Air and Air Defense Forces|
1993 – February 11, 2009
|President||Heydar Aliyev, Ilham Aliyev|
|Preceded by||office established|
|Succeeded by||Altay Mehdiyev|
March 10, 1945|
|Died||February 11, 2009
|Service/branch||Azerbaijani Air Force|
|Years of service||43|
Lieutenant General Rail Rzayev Gurban oglu (Azerbaijani: Rail Rzayev Qurban oğlu; March 10, 1945 – February 11, 2009) was the Commander of the Azerbaijani Air Force from shortly after Azerbaijan's independence in the early 1990s, to his death in 2009.
Rzayev was born on March 10, 1945 in Salyan, Azerbaijan. After completing his secondary education in Sumgayit in 1962, he was enrolled in the Aircraft Electronics and Communication Systems(FRELA) school of USSR Aviation Academy named after Orzhenikidze. After graduating from the academy in 1966, he was directed to serve at Baku Airforce District. In Baku, he worked as the Senior Technician and then served as the Deputy Commander of a Division. In 1975, he entered the Zhukov Command Academy of Air Defense Forces. Upon graduation he was appointed a Division Commander and from 1980 through 1992, he held several high-ranking positions at various military units of the Soviet Airforce.
In 1992, Rail Rzayev started his career in Azerbaijani Armed Forces. He was appointed the Chief of Department of Azerbaijani Air and Air Defense Forces. According to the Presidential Decree from 1993, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan Republic and Commander of Azerbaijani Air and Air Defense Forces, a position which he held until his death in 2009.
Ranks and awards
In 1994, Rzayev was promoted to General Major, in 2002 he was given the rank of Lieutenant General. He's credited for his outstanding work in establishing and modernizing the Azerbaiani Airforce. He was awarded with Azerbaijani Flag Order and Veten Ughrunda Medal (In the Name of Motherland) for service to his country.
- "Biographies. Rail Rzayev". Retrieved 2010-12-07.
- "Azərbaycan Respublikası Silahlı Qüvvələrinin hərbi qulluqçularının təltif edilməsi haqqında AZƏRBAYCAN RESPUBLİKASI PREZİDENTİNİN SƏRƏNCAMI" [Decree of President of Azerbaijan Republic on Awarding Servicemen of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces]. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Azerbaijan air force head killed". BBC News. February 11, 2009.
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