HALSEY soon began her trip east across the Pacific for San Diego, arriving there seven months after she departed, September 26, 1974. On the 22nd of November 1974 the bunting was brought out and the crew put on their dress blues as Captain William F. McCauley became HALSEY's new Commanding Officer, relieving Captain Joseph D. Nolan.
Midway through 1975, on the first of July, HALSEY was redesignated as a Cruiser, Guided Missile (CG) from her old designation as Destroyer Leader, Guided Missile (DLG) to satisfy NATO requirements that the U.S. Navy maintain a certain number of cruisers in the fleet. The rest of 1975 was spent in the Western Pacific, operating with the USS ORISKANY (CVA-34) and the USS HANCOCK (CVA-19).
HALSEY received her third Battle "E" award on March 27, 1976, at the end of a five day inspection by Commander Cruiser Destroyer Group Three (CCDG-3), RADM Briggs. HALSEY'S next WESTPAC began November 22 of 1976 and ended May 15, 1977. During this deployment, HALSEY provided intercept control of all incoming Soviet aircraft for the carrier task force she was steaming with. Also during the cruise, HALSEY received her second consecutive Battle "E" and fourth such award since she joined the fleet. March 18, 1977, Captain Stephen J. Hostettler relieved Captain W. F. McCauley, while in Yokosuka, Japan.
On August 15, 1977, HALSEY entered Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a 13 month regular overhaul. During this overhaul, HALSEY traded in her three inch fifty AA guns for the Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile System, which greatly increased her surface warfare capabilities.
May 19, 1979, Captain Richard R. Tarbuck became HALSEY's tenth Commanding Officer, as he relieved Captain Stephen J. Hostettler. Four months later, Captain Tarbuck took HALSEY on her eighth major deployment. During that deployment, HALSEY assumed the duties as Force Anti-Air Warfare Commander during Iranian Contingency Operations. Late in March of 1980, HALSEY returned to San Diego after spending the holidays away from family and friends.
A year later, on April 1, HALSEY departed for WESTPAC in company with the KITTY HAWK battle group. About one month after departing San Diego, Captain Richard R. Tarbuck handed over the reigns of HALSEY to Captain Richard L. Wyatt in ceremonies in Subic Bay, on the 12th of May. Less than a week later, HALSEY rescued 24 Vietnamese refugees who had been at sea for ten days, seeking their freedom. The 23rd of November, HALSEY returned from WESTPAC after traveling over 80,000 miles in just under seven months.
February 6, 1982, HALSEY and the KITTY HAWK were underway again, but this time for READIEX 82-2, in which HALSEY acted as Force Anti-Air Warfare commander. Two months later, RADM Ramsey presented HALSEY with her fifth Battle "E" award. Three days later, HALSEY was import Long Beach Naval Shipyard for a baseline overhaul, in which she received and update to her Terrier Missile System, had the Phalanx Close-In-Weapon Systems installed, updates to the Super Rocket Blown Chaff launchers, the AN/SLQ-32 electronic warfare equipment and a new sonar.
On the 27th of May 1983, Captain Paul D. Moses relieved Captain Richard L. Wyatt as Commanding Officer, USS HALSEY. Captain Moses guided HALSEY through her last month of baseline overhaul and on the 23rd of June, HALSEY departed for San Diego.