An underwater-airborne laser communication system is presented as a practical alternative to VLF and ELF radiowave technology for submerged vessels. The system is compact, self-contained, and employs frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser sources. This system has applications in secure high-bandwidth communication for semiautonomous and autonomous submerged vessels operating at depths of less than 100m. A propagation analysis is provided and theoretical and experimental data are given for the transmission channel. A CCD camera system is also described, which provides feedback for laser pointing and surface-state beam compensation.