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Acoustic communication with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) implies low data rates and potentially high latency, depending on the range and the number of vehicles operating in one area. To efficiently use this limited resource the Compact Control Language (CCL) was developed for use with the WHOI REMUS AUV. CCL is a set of messages that includes commands for AUVs and data messages for typical sensors. Almost all of the messages are less than 32 bytes long. CCL commands include simple operations such as Abort Now and Abort to Mission End, but also complex commands such as re-direction with side scan sonar over areas of interest. When this simple command set is used with a telemetry system that includes network addressing (such as the WHOI Micro-Modem), sophisticated multi-vehicle operations may be carried out. The open nature of the specification allows vehicles developed at different research institutions or commercial companies to work together, thus promoting interoperability. CCL has been adopted by others working in the Office of Naval Research Very Shallow Water mine-countermeasure (VSW-MCM) program which includes multiple vehicles with different types of sensors.