From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Escorts are small craft, crewing only 50 personnel. They are manufactured by the Minoris Assembler Vats in innumerable configurations, and served in roles ranging from Sentinel carriers to personnel shuttles and maintenance tenders, or even close range picket defence craft. They are equipped with an ancilla and stasis manipulators.
Escorts employed by the Warrior-Servants aboard their vessels displayed unusual levels of uniformity, and frequently eschewed utility functions in favour of offensive armaments. These examples instead employed heavy energy projectors and resilient energy shielding.
Twelfth-order escorts occupy one of the lowest tiers in the order classification system, and represent one of the weakest spacecraft employed by the Forerunners. They were employed aboard other, larger, ships used by the Ecumene and were often used for maintenance and transportation aboard these gargantuan capital ships. They were stationed aboard Mantle's Approach during the New Phoenix Incident in July 2557, in which they were used to ferry individuals and equipment through the vast interior of the ship. As such, they have very limited mobility outside of this capacity. Escort vessels such as these were oftentimes circumvented by leaner, fully weaponized and armored combat suits such as war sphinxes.
At this time, the full functionality and purpose of these escort vessels (including whether they were controlled by individual ancilla constructs or through some automated means) were currently unknown to the UNSC.
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