In 1941, the Motlow Range was created by leasing approximately 4,000 acres of land roughly 3 miles west of Tullahoma, Tennessee. The Motlow Range was developed as an auxiliary training area for Camp Forrest, one of the U.S. Army's largest training bases during World War II. Camp Forrest was about 5 miles east of Tullahoma. Camp Forrest did not contain enough land for artillery firing; therefore, the U.S. government partially solved this issue in 1940 by leasing 36,000 acres for the creation of Spencer Artillery Range. The Spencer Range, however, was about 50 miles from Camp Forrest, so Motlow Range was created to develop nearby firing ranges for light artillery, mortars, and machine guns. Additional leases were subsequently established to augment the original land, building Motlow Range to approximately 7,528 acres. Firing ranges within Motlow were typically oriented toward an interior impact area, which supported activities such as an anti-tank range, anti-aircraft (towed target) range, aircraft machine gun range, and various small arms ranges. By 1943, maneuvers taking place at the Motlow Range involved more than 13,000 troops. Based on the Archives Search Report (ASR) Supplement, nine ranges were located at the Motlow Range. These overlapping ranges total 3,646 acres and make up the Range Complex MRS.
By 1946, Motlow and its ranges were deactivated by the U.S. War Department and declared surplus. USACE, South Atlantic Division conducted a preliminary inspection to determine the requirements for additional dedudding operations in December 1954. This inspection revealed evidence of 60-millimeter (mm) and 81-mm mortars, as well as 30- and 50-caliber small arms ammunition, hand grenades, and rifle grenades. It was recommended that the impact areas be burned to remove undergrowth and dead vegetation to allow ordnance searches and issuance of a certificate of clearance. Clearance activities were performed over 3,604 acres from 1955 to 1956, with subsequent periodic inspections from 1957 through 1969. Occasional recoveries of a variety of ordnance were reported during these inspections.