In 1988 Waddell was underway again for RIMPAC 89, working with surface units of both Australian and Japanese navies before deploying again on September 12 to North Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean areas with Battle Group BRAVO. Waddell was visited by the Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Frank Carlucci, while pier side in Bahrain. Waddell returned from a successful deployment on 2 March 1989.
In 1989 the warship participated in a variety of exercises in the SOCAL OPAERA, including counter-narcotics operations, several MEFEX’s, and others.
In April 1989 CDR R.E. SMITH relieved CDR J. L. McCLANE as Commanding Officer of the WADDELL.